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This book should be returned on or before the date 
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Abridged Report 

cultivator will be willing to receive an<i put to the best possible 
use the advice and help which the agricultural and other departments are 
fin a position to place at his disposal. Our enquiry, therefore, extends 
to the activities o'f all departments which are closely concerned with rural 
welfare. We endeavour to show the contribution which each of theitt 
Agricultural, Veterinary, Forest, Irrigation, Co-operative, Public Health, 
[Education and Industries can make to the creation ol an environment 
favourable to progress in all directions. Our object is, y^ short, to suggest 
ways ^ud paeans of assisting the advance of the rural community towards 
a l^er life, These must be designed at once to awaken the desire in that 
c^aaipim^l' for better things and to arm each individual member of it 
against 'T temptations that beset him without impairing either his 
self-reap* 1 *** ^ r h *mirit, r>f mnTilv independence. 

MO \ :$92 la 

Abridged Report 


As a result of the constitutional changes of 1919, v the Government of 
India divested themselves, except to a very limited 
extent * a ^ powers of superintendence, direction 
and control over the administration of " transferred " 
subjects of which, from the point of view of our enquiries, agricultural 
and veterinary subjects are the most important. Tie administration 
of central agencies and institutions for research and for professional and 
technical training was retained as a " central " subject, but no specific 
provision was made for co-ordinating the work of these with that of similaii 
institutions in the provinces. Thus, the provincial departments have, 
in the all-important matter of research, been left without the stimuW 
of a central organisation which could guide and co-ordinate their policy 
Although no specific provision has been made in the Constitution of 19' 
for co-ordinating research work, either as between the central andprov 
cial spheres or as between province and province, there is nothing v^, 
herent in that Constitution which prevents appropriate machinery beir 
devised for that purpose. 

The bams of all agricultural progrebs is experiment.^ However efficient 
the organisation -which is built up for demonstration and propaganda, 
unless thaf organisation is based on the solid foundations provided by 
research, it is merely a house built on sand. In spite of the marked 
progress which has been made in many directions during the last quaiter 
of a century, it is hardly an exaggeration to say that agricultural research 
in this country is still in its infancy. The claims of research have received 
a half-hearted recognition and the importance of its efficient organisation 
anil conduct is still little understood . The history of the scientific organi- 
sation of agriculture in other countries of wide extent and strong local 
administrations such as the United States of America, Canada and 
Australia should not make this comparative lack of appreciation of the 
need for organisation a matter of surprise. We have carefully atvdicd 
the organisations which they have adopted and have had an opportunity 
of examining their representatives We believe that the time will come 
in India as it has already come in those countries, when the indispensable 
part, which a central organisation has to ftlay in the fields of agricultural 
research, and of rural development generally, will be fully recognised. 

We think, indeed, that, with the undoubted demand for an incrtlfse 
in the pace of agricultural progress, the time has even now come when 
there will be a general measure of.suppoit throughout the country for 
proposals designed to promote co-ordination of a more effective character 
than would be provided by the continued existence of the appointment of 
Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India and by conferences of 
Ministers and Directors of Agriculture and meetings of the Board of 

A reference lias already been made to the Agricultural Research 
Institute at Pusa which is maintained by the Government of India. We 
feel strongly that it is essential to the advancement of agricultural research 
in India that Pusa should be brought into closer touch with the pfovincial 



in whic 

interest \v . 


provincial activitit 

fore, propose that the o^ 

of a non-lapsing fund of 

from time to time as 

the minimum grant which can usefully . . 

able to propose so low a figure on the assumption that provio^ 

cost of existing institutions and for normal expansion will be met from 

central or provincial revenues as the case may be. The Council of 

Agricultural Research and the Agricultural Research Fund should be 

constituted by an Act of the Imperial Legislature. The position of 

the Council of Agricultural Research in relation to the administration of 

the research fund would be analogous to that of the Indian Central 

Cotton Committee in relation to the funds raised under the provisions of 

the Indian Cotton Cess Act of 1923. Subject to such conditions as might 

be prescribed, the capital and income of the fund and any other funds 

received by the Council would be utilised in meeting its expenses and 

the cost of such measures as it might decide to undertake for promoting 

agricultural and technological research in the interests of agriculture in 

India. The powers of the Council would be regulated by rules issued by 


,cti research 

ani\ersity, by 

bring the financial 

^/resent Constitution, it 

i Rules a declaration that 

oy a central authority is 

.,,v \v itii the Central Research Council, we would recommend that 
a Provincial Research Committee should be established in each of the 
major provinces which will work in close co-operation with the Council. 

We propose that the Council should consist of 39 members. Three 
of these would be whole-time members the Chairman, who should be 
an experienced administrator with a knowledge, if possible, of Indian 
conditions, and two eminent scientists qualified to represent respectively 
the interests of agriculture and animal husbandry. Of the remaining 
thirty-six members, eight would be nominated by the Government of 
India, eighteen would represent the provincial, agricultural and veterinary 
departments, three would represent the Indian universities, two 
would represent the Indian Central Cotton Committee and the planting 
community respectively and five would be non-official iftembers 




Council to assib. 

suitable headquarter 

of India Delhi and Simu. 

ment Commission for India on , j .u 

Britain has naturally occurred to us. The idea *. , 

but the limitations imposed by the existing Constitute ' , 

in our view, rule any proposal of this kind out of consideration 

conditions. If conditions alter, the Council of Agricultural K. 

which we propose could be expanded to include all activities that i... 

any bearing on rural progress. 

On the formation of the Council of Agricultural Research, the 
necessity for an Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India will 
disappear. This officer is at present the Director of the Pusa Institute. 
A whole-time Director will be required for Pusa who in addition to the 
administrative control of that Institute will also exercise administrative 
control over sub-stations now under the Agricultural Adviser but not 
over the Imperial Institute of Veterinary Research at Muktesar for 
which other arrangements are proposed in Section VII (Chapter IX of 
the main Report). On the constitution of the new superior provincial 


Jtution for all 

.orefore, have to 

tne problems of tropical 

of small sub-stations. They 

a- to what extent the "funds which will be placed at 

uiie advancement of agricultural research can suitably be 

i the opening of such sub-stations. 

u is our view that the Board of Agriculture which, inter alia, provides 
fiie only means by which, in present conditions, Indian States can be 
brought in touch with the agricultural problems of British India and the 
methods employed in solving them will still have many useful functions 
to perform after the Council of Research has been set up. We, therefore, 
are strongly cf opinion that the Board should continue to meet under the 
chairmanship of the Chairman of the Council of Research and that the 
Council should advise the Government of India as to any changes in its 
constitution which may seem calculated to promote its usefulness. 

Abridged Report 


The principi^boneen^ol^^k Commission is to suggest the lines 
on which agriculture in India can be improved. 

OFTH * T* 16 field a vast one and the diversity of soils, 
. . 1 1 i ..*'. 

local conditions and agricultural practices is very 

great. As an indication of the immensity of areas under the various 
crops, it may be noted that there are over 80 million acres under rice, 
some 24 million acres under wheat, 33 millions under the greater millets, 
juar and bajra, 18 millions under cotton, 14 millions under the 
principal oil-seeds and 14 millions under gram. 

The soils of India may be broadly divided into four groups (a) the 
"red" soils of the crystalline tract, (6) the black cotton or regnr soils, 
(c) the alluvial soils .and (d) the laterite soils. These vary remarkably 
in agricultural properties and the desirability of soil surveys has been 
frequently pressed upon us. While admitting its importance, we do 
not think it is a practicable proposition to undertake at the present 
time a soil survey for the whole of India on the lines of that now in 
progress in the United States of America. In view of the prohibitive 
cost of a complete and scientific soil survey, we recommend that 
agricultural departments should undertake intensive surveys only when 
there is some specific problem .o bo solved or when laboratory exami- 
nation of soils is called for to interpret more fully valuable informa- 
tion already on record. 

The question has been much argued whether the soils of India are to- 
day undergoing a progressive decline in fertility. Such experimental 
data as are at our disposal suggest the view that, in an overwhelming 
proportion of lands in India, a balance has been established and no 
further deterioration is likely to take place under existing conditions of 
cultivation. The chemists of the agricultural departments have devoted 
much attention to the study of local soil types and local soil conditions. 
Such a study is indeed an essential preliminary to the initiation of 
research into local problems. The discovery of deficiencies in plant 
food materials which results from these examinations of soil attracts 
attention to mammal problems, and these investigations have formed 
the basis for manurial experiments. The conclusion to be drawn f n m 
the results which havt* been already obtained is that the foundation 
has been well prepared, but that much more research is necessary and 
that rapid and uninterrupted progress cannot be expected unless the 
staff of research workers is largely increased. The time has come when 
the assistance of specialist officers can be usefully called in, nure 
especially in the direction of bacteriological, physical and biological 

Our attention has been drawn to marked cases of soil deteriora- 
tion as a result of erosion of the surface soil by flood water. In the 
United Provinces, this has been arrested to a large extent by the afforest- 
ation of the ravine tracts ; in Bombay, by the terracing of land and the 
construction of earth and stone embankments. Other tracts in which 

10 Abridged Report 

the evil exists are western Bengal, the submontane districts of northerly 
India generally and Chota Nagpur. The applicability to these tracts 
of the methods which seem to have proved successful in the United 
Provinces and in Bombay should be investigated. 

It must be admitted that although a great deal of careful work 
has been done, little progress has been made in introducing improved 
manurial treatment into general agricultural practice. The agricul- 
tural departments are not yet in a position to give definite advice in 
regard to the economic use of fertilisers. There is justification for the 
view that improved varieties of crops require for their fullest development 
more liberal manurial treatment than those ordinarily grown, but the 
subject is one which requires the most careful study by the agricultural 
departments. A large amount of information the result of experiment 
has been collected. This, we consider, should be carefully studied and 
the results obtained correlated. A definite programme of experiment 
should be laid down to ascertain, with all possible accuracy, the 
extent to which fertilisers can be used with profit. This is a matter 
of such great importance that we consider the Council of Eesearch 
might suitably undertake the direction of investigations. This Coun- 
cil should be in, a position to advise as to tlie manner in which ex- 
periments can best be conducted so as to secure uniformity of method 
ami to render results obtained in one province of value to other provinces. 

The most readily available supply of plant food is, of course, 
farmyard manure. But, unfortunately, a very large amount of this is 
lost to agriculture through the custom of using cowdung cakes for domes- 
tic fuel. No satisfactory alternative lias been suggested where coal and 
wood are dear. If the practice of using the refuse of crops such as 
cotton stalks, megass, etc., as fuel could be extended, there would 
probably be less wastage of farmyard manure. Much more might, 
.however, be done to conserve at any rale that portion of the manure 
which is not used for fuel purposes. This is a matter to which the 
agricultural departments should devote their attention. The manufac- 
ture of composts and of synthetic farmyard manure, and, where night soil 
is available, of poudrette by municipalities are directions in which 
investigation is called f(>r. The activated sludge process provides a 
moans of overcoming the objections of the cultivator to the use of night- 
soil. Other matters which require elovse study, especially from the point 
of view of the small cultivator, are the place and value of leguminous 
crops in the cultivator's rotations and the economics of growing green 
manure crops. 

Oil-seeds are an important crop in India and, if applied as manure 
in the form of cake, would give a very large supply of combined 
nitrogen. They are not much used for this purpose at present. The 
only method by which their advantages can be secured is by the 
development of the oil-crushing industry coupled with great changes in 
cattle management and the abandonment of the custom of using cattle 
manure as fuel. An extension of the oil-crushing industry would 
undoubtedly tend to promote the welfare of the Indian agriculturist, 

Abridged Report 11 

and we would commend the investigation of its possibilities to all 
local governments. 

Another source of nitrogen is found in sulphate of ammonia which is 
available as a by-product from coal, but the price factor limits its 
application to the most valuable crops such as sugarcane and gaiden 
crops and it is, therefore, unlikely to afiect the small cultivator. 

Other forms of manure which supply both nitrogen and phosphates 
are bones and bonemeal and fish manures. The crushing of bones is 
an industry which could be taken up on a larger scale ih India 
but a far more thorough investigation of the economics of the bone-> 
crushing industry than has yet been carried out is, we consider, 
required before the establishment of such mills by private enterprise 
can be encouraged. The first essential is to obtain definite data in 
regard to the price at which, and crops for which, the use of bonemeal 
is advantageous to the cultivator and we suggest that the agricultural 
departments should take early steps to collect this data. We do not 
consider that there is any justification for the restriction of the exports of 
oil-seeds and oilcakes, bones and bonemeal or fish manures by the imposi- 
tion of an export duty or for the prohibition of such exports. 

It may be said that the main success ot the agriculture! depaitments 
has been in the direction of the introduction of improved varieties of 
crops and in this branch of its work it has been eagerly assisted by the 
cultivator It is estimated that nearly nine million acres are now 
under improved varieties of different crops. It is true that this only 
represents a small fraction of the total area under these crops, but, 
even so, it can be claimed that a substantial beginning has been 
made. The crops in which the greatest advance has been made are 
cotton, wheat, rice, groundnut and jute, but there is still very great 
scope for further work especially in regard to the millets, pulses and 

There are three methods of obtaining varieties superior to those 
ordinarily grown* either in respect of yield, quality or suitability to the 
special conditions of environment. These are selection, hybridisation 
and acclimatisation. Of the three, selection seems to be the most 
hopeful line and that which offers the greatest immediate possibilities of 
effecting improvement in Indian conditions. Hybridising is highly 
specialised work and requires officers with a very special training and a 
wide knowledge of Indian conditions. Acclimatisation means the adapta- 
tion of exotic varieties to Indian conditions. The most notable achieve- 
ment in this respect in recent years has been Cambodia cotton. 
This line of experiment, important though it is, should not take 
precedence of work on crops already grown in India. Whatever im- 
proved varieties may be evolved by selection or hybridisation, no new 
variety should be put out unlese it has been thoroughly established 
that it possesses marked advantages over those already grown. It is 
important also that new varieties should be thoroughly tested on 
holdings typical of those in the tracts for which they are deemed 
suitable 'and also that the value of the new variety in its place in the 

12 Abridged Repon 

normal rotation of the cultivator should be proved. Such experiments 
should be carried on over a series of years. 

We now pass to the question of distribution of the improved 
seed which has been evolved. The conditions of India in this respect 
are somewhat peculiar. Except for flower or vegetable seeds, there 
arc no seed merchants in the sense in which the term is understood in 
European countries. For many years to .come it seems probable that 
the work of seed distribution will have to remain in the hands of the 
agricultural departments. But if seed merchants of proved enterprise 
should be forthcoming, they should be given every encouragement. 
In present conditions, the co-operative agency seems to offer the best 
prospects of assistance to the agricultural departments in seed distribu- 
tion though private seed agents, as distinct from seed merchants, 
might also be employed. They should be persons on whom the 
agricultural departments can rely and should deal only with seeds 
supplied by the departments in sealed bags or packets. 

Until reliable seed merchants come into the business, the 
selection and distribution of pure seed should be controlled by the 
agricultural departments. It is not possible to lay down any rigid lines 
of policy. Departments must be guided by local conditions and must 
use such agencies as are available locally for the production and distribu- 
tion of pure seed. But a considerable increase in the number of seed 
farms, both departmental and private, is very desirable. These can 
either be run departmentally or by cultivators who agree to grow seed 
for the departments under their supervision and control. Here again 
the co-operative movement can be of great assistance. 

The problem of seed distribution is of such importance that, even 
with all the assistance which co-operative and other organisations 
can give, we consider that a separate organisation is necessary within 
the Agricultural Department, to deal with seed distribution and seed 
testing. The officer in charge of this work should be of the rank 
of a deputy director of agriculture and should take over all 
immediate administrative responsibility for seed testing and seed 
distribution. It would be his business to organise distribution through 
co-operative societies and other associations, through seed merchants 
wherever they are available, and through seed agents, as well as through 
the departmental staff and any other agencies which he may considei 
suitable. Whilst the agricultural departments ought not to look to seed 
distribution as a source of profit, the work has reached a stage at which 
it may legitimately be expected to pay its way. 

Agricultural engineering is an important section of the activities 
of the agricultural departments and it is one to \vhich, in our opinion, 
sufficient attention has not in the past been devoted. We consider 
that this section should be completely reorganised and that it should 
in all respects form an integral part of the department. Officers for the 
engineering branch should not only be recruited on the same terms as 
members of the new superior pro\incial agricultural services, but 
should be included in the cadre of those services. In provinces where 

Abridged Keport )$ 

pumping and boring operations are of importance, it would probably 
be advantageous if this work could be entrusted to one branch of the 
engineering section and if a separate branch were to deal with agricul- 
tural machinery and implements. Where wells are numerous, it might 
be desirable to entrust the work on water-lifts to a third branch. All the 
activities of the agricultural engineering section should, however, be 
under the technical control of a senior engineer under the Director of 
Agriculture. This senior engineer could be selected either from the 
officers in the engineering section or from outside as necessitated by 
circumstances. Great care should be taken in the selection of the officer 
in charge of the work on implements and machinery. He should be* 
a man who is not only an engineer but is also familiar with the use of 
agricultural machinery and implements. Amongst the most important 
problems to be dealt with by the- engineering section is an enquiry .into 
the capacity of the draught cattle of India with relation to the 
implements they are required to draw. Further, before discarding 
indigenous implements in favour of foreign designs, exhaustive trials are 
necessary to test the comparative merits of the two types under the 
conditions in which the cultivator works. In general, it may be laid 
down that the aim of the agricultural departments should be the 
evolution of a small number of types of implements and machinery 
suitable for a wide range of conditions and suitable also for mass 
production. In our view, the improvement of existing agricultural 
implements and machinery offers a more promising field than the 
introduction of new types. 

It is desirable that, when new types have been evolved, their 
manufacture should be taken up by manufacturers in India. In 
order to overcome the difficulties of transporting such manufactures 
over the vast distances which one finds in India, we would suggest for 
the favourable consideration of the railway authorities a re-examination 
of railway freight rates on agricultural implements and machinery and 
the grant wherever possible of concessions. In this connection, it has 
also been represented to us that, whilst agricultural implements and 
machinery with a few exceptions are admitted into India free of duty, 
the high protective duties levied on imported iron and steel greatly in- 
crease the cost to the Indian 'manufacturer of his raw material whether 
imported or produced in India. We consider that this is a matter which 
might be investigated by the Indian Tariff Board. 

Cultivators in dry and precarious tracts are those whose struggle for a 
livelihood is commonly the hardest. The problems of cultivation in such 
tracts in which crops are entirely dependent upon rainfall are, in our 
opinion, deserving of far closer attention than they have received from 
the agricultural departments. 

The crops of the Indian cultivator like those of cultivators elsewhere 
are liable to suffer from insect pests and plant diseases. He is protected 
against the introduction of these from outside by the Destructive Insects 
and Pests Act (II of 1914). The rules framed under the Act are adequate 
but it is'important that the co-operation of the maritime Indian States 

14 Abrtifrd R*p<*t 

should >e et*e& whjfe * ito^ooiaader the desirability of 
legislation to prevot ik* importation of pit aid difloaagi from India. 
The Government of India as well as provincial governments should, as 
lid* as possible, strengthen their entomological and mycological stafla. It 
may also be advisable to frame provincial legislation to deal with internal 
pests and diseases, as has been done in Madras where an Agricultural 
Pest* and Diseases Act was passed in 1919. Other dangers to crops are 
wild animals and vermin. The former can probably be dealt with by 
the grant of gun licenses on a more liberal scale, or by fencing if a cheap 
and effective method can be found. This is a matter lor investigation 
by the agricultural departments. Where serious damage to crops is 
caused by vermin, a special staff might be organised for its destruction 
as in the Punjab and Bind. 
A serious obstacle to agricultural improvement is, in some 

provinces, caused by the subdivision and frag- 
HMlSSow*. f TH * mentation of holdings. Subdivision is chiefly 

due to the laws of inheritance customary amongst 
Hindus and Muharamadans which enjoins a sncceasioa to immovable 
property amongst all the heirs usually in equal shares. Fragmentation 
is, in the main, due not to the laws of inheritance but to the method by 
which the law as to division of property amongst the heirs is carried into 
effect. The problem is being attacked by the Co-operative Department 
in the Punjab where some striking results have been achieved, and by 
legislation in the Central Provinces. The latter method is also proposed 
in Bombay. In paragraph 126 of the main Report, we state the general 
principles which, we think, should be adopted in any legislation designed 
to promote the consolidation of holdings. 



order that agricultural research may be of use to the (Sultivator, 
ite results must be given to him in a form in which 
they ny Become a part of bis OKiinarypr^ctw. In 

w .". i. . * 

a country in which illiteracy is so widespread as 
it is in India, ocular demonstration is the best method of convincing the 
cultivating classes of the advantages of agricultural improvement. But, 
before an improvement can be recommended for general adoption, it 
must be thoroughly tested on a government farm. It must be within 
the means of the cultivator to whom it is recommended and it must 
give a substantial financial advantage either in increased outturn or in 
the reduction of his cultivation expenses. 

There are two methods of demonstration the demonstration form 
and the demonstration plot* Opinion is almost unanimous that the 
best and quickest method of influencing the practice of the cultivator 
is to demonstrate an improvement in crop or method on a small plot 
cultivated under departmental control or direction. This has the 
advantage of bringing the demonstration right into the heart of a village. 
The demonstration farm is open to the objection that it creates a suspicion 
in the mind of the cultivator that the methods by which it is cultivated 
are not applicable to his means and conditions. The farm buildings, 
which are often of a somewhat elaborate character, the superior cattle, 
the up-to-date implements and careful layout are apt to create an 
impression that the methods adopted are entirely beyond his means. 
Again, the influence of a demonstration farm is very limited and can only 
reach the cultivators in its immediate neighbourhood. If, however, 
a demonstration is carried out on the cultivator's own land, it is open 
to none of these objections. We admit, however, that demonstration 
farms may be necessary for special purposes, for example, to demonstrate 
the advantages of using a particular method of curing tobacco or of a 
small plant for making white sugar or high quality gur. In other words, 
we realise the necessity for special farms for demonstrations which involve 
industrial as well aa agricultural operations. But, for demonstration 
of actual agricultural processes, we are of opinion that the demonstration 
plot is the most suitable. 

Aa a rule, demonstration work should not be carried out on experi- 
mental farms. The conditions imposed by the experimental character of 
the work carried out on such farms are often of such a nature as to render 
the practices f< flowed on them inapplicable to ordinary cult i vators. There 
is. however, no objection to spare land on an experimental farm being set 
apart for demonstrations. We see positive advantages in seed farms' 
being used as demonstration farms, provided the primary purpose of 
the farm is not detrimentally affected thereby. The seed farm affords 
special opportunities to the cultivator of seeing the extent to which the 
adoption of improved methods of cultivation or the use of manures can 
increase the outturn of the seed issued to him. 

A question which is often discussed is whether departmental 
farms should pay their way. Farms which have been established solely 

16 Abridged Report 

for experimental work cannot be expected to do so. Receipts are an 
entirely secondary consideration in their case. Seed farms should ordinarily 
be expected to be at least self-supporting as far as their seed work is 
concerned. Demonstration farms established to demonstrate the 
possibility of commercial fanning would obviously fail in their purpose if 
they did not yield a substantial profit. Where district and tehsil farms 
are opened to further the general propagandist work of the department, 
they should not necessarily be expected to pay. 

We consider that short courses in particular subjects for cultivators 
given on demonstration and seed farms form an excellent means of 
establishing closer touch between the agricultural departments and the 
cultivator. These courses should be carefully thought out and a parti- 
cular member of the Htafi should be detailed to give them. The ques- 
tion of providing stipends or free accommodation to attract cultivators 
is a matter for local settlement. 

Two systems of demonstration on the cultivator's own fields are 
in vogue. .In the first, a plot is hired for the demonstration and the 
cultivation is carried on throughout by the departmental staff. In 
the other, the cultivation is carried on by the cultivator himself from 
start to finish under the close supervision of the agricultural demon- 
strator. The first method has the advantage that more reliance can be 
placed on the data which are collected in the course of the demonstration ; 
the second that, as all the work is done by the cultivator himself, he is 
placed in a better position to realise the true value of the improve- 
ment which is being demonstrated. Both methods have much to recom- 
mend them and we consider that they might well be tried in all provinces 
and the results compared. 

The question arises whether the cultivator whose land is used for 
the purpose of demonstration should be guaranteed against any loss 
which may result. We consider the policy of giving guarantees to be 
one of doubtful expediency. It may be necessary if, without it, demon- 
stration plots are not procurable. Even if no guarantee is given, some 
compensation should, of course, be made if, for any reason, failure in 
the methods adopted has involved the cultivator in loss. 

There is no respect in which the short courses, the establishment 
of which we have referred to, should prove of more value than in 
promoting the use of improved implements, more especially if they 
include instruction not only in the use of the implements but also 
in their repair. We also consider that much could be done to 
popularise improved implements by peripatetic demonstrations. The 
demonstrators, wherever possible, should take with them a supply of 
spare parts and should be accompanied by an instructor who 
would teach the village smiths how to fit new parts and make adjust- 
ments and repairs. The use of the more expensive implements and 
machinery might extend more rapidly if suitable arrangements for hiring 
them out could be made either by the agricultural departments or by 
the manufacturers in consultation with the departments. We also desire 
to emphasise the importance of agricultural shows. These should include 

Abridged Report IT 

demonstration of such machinery and implements as are suitable for the 
tract in which the show is held and exhibits of livestock and produce. 
If these shows axe to exercise their full effect in educating opinion among 
local cultivators, it is essential that they should be held year after year, if 
not in one centre, at least in the same part of the country. A permanent 
agricultural stall should also be a prominent feature of the regulated 
markets, the establishment of which we recommend in Chapter XI of 
the main Report (see page 44 below). The agricultural departments 
might also have suitable exhibits at the big fairs and festivals which are 
so common in India. 

The publications of the various agricultural departments include 
vernacular leaflets, bulletins, journals and calendars while the depart- 
ments in most of the provinces supply regular material to the English 
and vernacular press. The success of these publications depends pri- 
marily on the amount of literacy in the various provinces and we have no 
desire to lay down any general directions in this matter. We would* 
however, point out that vernacular leaflet* are of little value, unless they 
are issued in connection with a definite demonstration of their subject 
matter. We approve of publicity in any form where it is felt that it will 
be appreciated by the public. Our remarks with regard to vernacular 
leaflets apply also to lecturer, with or without lantern slides, and to 
cinema demonstrations. Propaganda through these means will be of 
little value unless it is used in conjunction with an actual demonstration 
of result*. With regard to cinema exhibits, an agricultural film is apt 
to fail in its purpose unless it has been carefully prepared by a producer 
with considerable knowledge of village life and of the mentality of the 
average villager. For this reason, the agricultural departments should 
consider the advisability of preparing their own films. n T T 

In this connection, we would mention an interesting experi- 
ment which has recently been made in Bengal and the Punjab. A demon- 
stration train was fitted up as a travelling exhibition by the Bailway, 
Public Health, Agricultural, Industries, Co-operative and Veterinary 
departments and carried out an extensive tour throughout these 
provinces. In addition to the exhibits of various departments dis- 
played to the public, open air lectures illustrated by films and lantern 
slides were given at each stop. The possibility of such a demonstration 
train should, when the results of the Bengal and Punjab experiment are 
known, be considered by other provinces. 

Of other methods of propaganda, agricultural associations, as 
originally constituted, have, for the most part, hitherto proved a failure. 
The area from which the members were drawn was usually too large to 
permit of a concentration of activity sufficient to produce any positive 
results. The lack of a definite task often meant that nothing at all was 
done. Members were frequently drawn from peopjp whose direct interest 
in the land was small or the associations depended too much upon the 
enthusiasm of a single member, while the staff of the agricultural depart- 
ments was too limited to enable them to give the associations the necessary 
close attention. In recent years, however, in Bombay and the Central 
Provinces many of them have been reorganised in the light of experience 

MO Y 3922 

18 Abridged Report 

and converted into active bodies. The tendency in the Central Provinces 
now is to develop the smaller unit, starting with the teh&ils and working up 
to the circle and the district. An interesting development is in progress 
in Bombay, where taluka development associations and divisional boards 
of agriculture have been formed. This represents the most systematic 
attempt which has yet been made to co-ordinate the propaganda work 
of the agricultural and co-operative departments in respect of agricultural 
improvement. The idea is that, as soon as possible after the constitu- 
tion of an association, a survey of the taluka is to be carried out by the 
agricultural and co-operative departments. Where such associations 
exist, they have taken over the work formerly done in the taluka by 
agricultural associations, co-operative development committees and 
similar bodies. The associations are mainly deliberative bodies and 
approve the programme of work in the taluka. Their main object is the 
demonstration of improved implements, improved seed and manures, 
but they do not undertake the demonstration of any improvements 
unless they, have already been successfully demonstrated on the culti- 
vators' own fields by the staff of the Agricultural Department. If an 
association asks for them, the services of a tieldman are placed entirely 
at its disposal by the Agricultural Department, the cost being met from 
the funds of the association. The funds required for the work of the 
association are provided by a capital fund raised by donations, by 
annual subscriptions from co-operative societies, individuals, and villages 
as a whole and by an annual grant from Government which at present 
is equal to the income from other sources up to a limit of one thousand 
rupees. The taluka development associations work under the super- 
vision of divisional boards, consisting of two official and four non-official 
members, two representing the co-operative movement and two 
agriculture. The board is expected to meet at least once a quarter and to 
submit a report of its proceedings to the Director of Agriculture and the 
Registrar of Co-operative Societies. The board distributes the govern- 
ment grants allotted to the taluka associations, and controls the dis- 
tribution of the portion of the govemment grant for loans to co-operative 
Mociuties which was formerly in charge of the Registrar of Co-operative 
Societies. It undertakes the distribution of the discretionary grant 
for propaganda purposes which was formerly administered by the 
Direct/or ot Agriculture. It is also expected to advise local officers as to 
the way in which the policy laid down by Government or by the Director 
and the Registrar is to be carried out in their division. It discusses 
questions of general importance and brings to the notice of the 
department concerned such measures as it thinks should be taken for the 
economic advancement of the division. The Government of Bombay have 
laid down that the propaganda work of the Agricultural Department 
should be carried on as far as possible through co-operative unions where 
they exist and, where they do not, through isolated co-operative societies. 
A report on the work of all the propaganda staff is submitted to the 
divisional board by the departments concerned every quarter and is 
forwarded to the Director of Agriculture and the Registrar of Co-operative 
Societies with the board's remarks. Any recommendations made by the 

Abridged Report J0 

board are considered and orders on them axe issued by the Director and 
the Registrar jointly. We consider that this system provides a model 
which is -worthy of study by other provincial governments. We are 
convinced that it is only by the adoption of this, or of some similar 
system, that the agricultural departments can effectively utilise the 
help of co-operative and other associations. 

We have described the work of the taluka development associations 
in some detail because we consider that agricultural departments have, 
on the whole, failed to exploit the possibility of propaganda work through 
the co-operative departments. While this has been largely due to the* 
fact that the co-operative movement in several provinces in India has 
not yet reached a stage at which it can undertake on an extensive scale 
any activities other than credit, there can be no doubt that lack of suffi- 
ciently close touch between the agricultural and the co-operative depart- 
ments has been a contributory cause. The agricultural departments 
should make far greater use of the co-operative credit society in theii 
propaganda work than they are now doing, 

We desire to emphasise the importance of concentration in all demon- 
stration and propaganda work. For this reason small units should be 
selected. Once an improvement has thoroughly established itself in the 
agricultural practice of a small area, the knowledge of it spreads naturally 
over contiguous areas where conditions are similar. In particular, 
concentration is necessary in regard to the distribution of the seed of 
improved varieties. An improved variety can thus more easily be 
produced in bulk and a premium for the quality more readily obtained 
from the trade . Similarly the subjects selected for demonstration should 
be strictly limited. The energies of the agricultural departments should 
not be dissipated. 

Questions of demonstration and propaganda are of such importance 
that we consider that an officer of the standing of a deputy director of 
agriculture might well be attached to the office of the Director of Agricul- 
ture whose sole duty would be to organise and systematic propaganda 
work throughout the province. His task would be to watch the various 
schemes of propaganda in operation, to record their results and to suggest 
methods of making them more effective. He would be expected to 
familiarise himself as far as possible, with experiments in demonstration 
and propaganda in other provinces and in other countries, and generally 
to keep the research staff in touch with what was going on in the districts. 

We consider that the propaganda work of departments concerned with 
rural welfare, other than the agricultural and veterinary departments, 
is best carried on through associations of a more general character than 
taluka development associations and agricultural associations. 

We consider that a valuable stimulus to agricultural development in 
India would be given if the Government of India were to award an annual 
prize for the most striking agricultural improvement of the year. The 
conditions governing the award of the prize should be made as definite 
as possible and we would instance the invention of new or improved 
implements or the introduction of new or improved varieties of crops as 
examples of the class of work which would constitute a claim to it. 
MO y 392 2a 

20 Abridged Report 


The latest statistics give the following figures for the different 

CHAPTER VII OF groups of livestock in British India. 


Cattle and buffaloes . . . . 151 *0 

Sheep and goats , . . . . . 62 * 6 

Horses, mules and donkeys . . . . 3*2 

Camels .. .. .. 0*5 

In the 66 Indian States for which statistics are available, there were, in 
1924-25, over 36 million cattle and buffaloes, 25 million sheep and goats, 
one million horses, donkeys and mules, and 262,000 camels. In no 
country of the world are cattle of more importance than they are in India. 
Milk, though important, is a secondary consideration. The primary 
function of the cattle is as draught animals for the plough or the cart. 
Without the ox, no cultivation would be possible : without the ox no 
produce could be transported. 

In spite of the wide differences between province and province, 
in physical features and in the numbers of the cattle, there seems to 
be a general similarity in India in the methods of management by 
cattle owners. A detailed study of a few closely settled districts 
suggests that the total number of ordinary cattle is primarily 
determined by the number of animals needed for work on the 
land. A comparison of the number of cattle kept in India with 
those kept in other countries indicates the possibility of reducing the 
number of working bullocks without necessarily reducing the existing 
standard of cultivation. There would, in fact, appear to be an excess 
in the numbers of the cattle necessary for cultivation if these cattle 
were efficient. The figures suggest the existence of a vicious circle. The 
number of cattle within a district depends upon and is regulated by 
the demand for bullocks. The worse the conditions for rearing 
efficient cattle, the greater the numbers kept tend to be. Cows 
become less fertile and their calves become undersized and do 
not satisfy cultivators who, in the attempt to secure useful bullocks, 
breed more and more cattle. As numbers increase, or as the increase 
of tillage encroaches on the better grazing land, the pressure on 
the available supply of food leads to still further poorness in the 
cows. As cattle grow smaller in size and greater in number, the 
rate at which conditions become worse for the breeding of good 
livestock is accelerated. For it must not be supposed that the 
food required by a hun-lred small cattle is the same as that needed 
by fifty of double the size. As cattle become smaller, the amount 
of food needed in proportion to their size increases. Thus large num- 
bers of diminutive cattle are a serious drain on a country in which the 
fodder supply is so scarce at certain seasons of the year as it is in India 
The process having gone so far, India having acquired so large a cattle 
population and the size of the animals in many tracts having fallen so 
low, the task of reversing the process of deterioration and of improving 

Abridged Report 2] 

the livestock of this country iauow a gigantic one ; bat on improvement 
in its cattle depends to a degree that is little understood the prosperity 
of its agriculture and the task must be faced. 

Unless substantial changes in the existing management of cattle 
are introduced, a progressive deterioration in the quality of the cattle 
is to be feared. Four cardinal points in a policy of improvement must 
be (a) a reduction in the number of plough cattle ; (6) an increase in 
the efficiency of plough cattle ; (c) attention to all matters that would 
tend to decrease the number of bullocks required for cultivation ; and 
(d) an effort to secure better treatment for dry cows and cows in-calf. 1 

The most important matter in connection with the maintenance 
of stock is the manner in which it is fed. In India, where stall feeding is 
little practised, the facilities for grazing are the principal consideration. 
It may be said that, in nearly every part of India the common grazing 
lands and all grass lands close to villages are generally hopelessly over- 
stocked. The custom that an animal, if not working, should find its 
own food in the jungle when there is no fodder available on -his holding 
results in the cultivator being unwilling to make any unusual sacrifice 
for the well-being of his cattle. The general position as regards cattle 
management may be summed up as follows. The ordinary cultivator 
does what he can for his plough cattle and his cow buffaloes ; quite often 
he does well for them, but bad seasons create difficulties for even the 
best cultivators, and the best of their cattle. The cow is less fortunate ; 
she gets little stall feeding and has to seek the greater part of her food 
where she can ; young cattle and the male offspring of her rival, the 
she-buffalo, share her fate and pick up their livelihood on common 
grazing grounds or by raiding crops. 

It is only fair, however, to note that there are exceptions 
and that, where their treatment is good, many fine cattle belonging 
to a number of well recognised breeds are to be found. Amongst 
them the best known are perhaps the Hariana and Sahiwal of the 
Punjab, the Thar Parkar and Sindhi of Sind, the Kankrej of Gujarat, 
the Gir of Kathiawar, and the Ongole of Madras. 

The two important factors in cattle improvement are feeding and 
breeding. We place feeding first because no outstanding improvement 
in the way of breeding is possible till cattle can be better fed. The crux 
of the situation is the period of scarcity which in most, though not in all 
parts of the country, is the two or three months preceding the break of 
the south-west monsoon. Since it is the curtailment of uncultivated 
land as population has increased during the past century that is the most 
obvious cause of the present overstocking of village grounds, it is not 
surprising that many witnesses have advocated the extension of grazing 
land. After an exhaustive survey of the possibilities, we are of opinion 
that no large additions to existing grazing areas are possible and efforts 
should therefore be concentrated on increasing the productivity of the 
land already growing grass. The scope for such efforts is very great. 
The productivity of the existing grazing grounds could be increased in 
the following ways : 

22 Abridged Report 

(a) grazing on the common land could be regulated and rotational 
grazing established with the consent of the majority of those possessing 
grazing rights and by means of authority conferred on a group of 
villagers, for instance on a panchayat or co-operative society ; 

(b) in some instances, a definite area of the common land could be 
separated off for a village co-operative cattle improvement society ; 

(c) in hilly districts, where the grazing facilities are better than 
they are elsewhere, an attempt should be made to demarcate areas to 
be assigned at nominal rates to groups of occupiers of village lands 
on the following conditions : 

(i) the area shall be grazed in rotation ; 
(ii) cattle not owned by the group shall be excluded ; 
(Hi) part of the area shall be reserved for cutting grass for use in 
the hot season. 

Where use cannot be made of natural grazing grounds owing to lack 
of water, the possibility of obtaining a supply should be investigated. 
In some parts of India, there may be considerable tracts of grass land 
which are not being fully utilised owing to lack of water. 

As a supplement to, or a substitute for, natural grazing, the cutting 
and storage of dry grass is important. The possibilities of silage are 
also great, though the practice is attended by difficulties and has not been 
adopted by cultivators. Much propaganda is necessary. In many 
other directions, the fodder position can be improved. The use of the 
chaffcutter, the addition of cheap meal and condiments to make straw 
more palatable, harvesting at the right time so as to get full value from 
the straw, the encouragement of the growth of fodder crops are some of 
the lines for further trial and investigation. The cultivation of 
Egyptian clover (berseem) seems to hold out great possibilities if the 
seed can be cheaply grown in quantity in India. Every encouragement 
should be given to the cultivation of leguminous crops by the remission 
of charges for water from government sources of irrigation or b} r the 
grant of concession rates. 

With regard to the improvement of cattle by careful breeding, the 
aim should be to establish pure and improved types of the best cattle 
now available and this should not be endangered by an attempt to produce 
a " dual purpose " animal suitable both for draught and for milking and 
ghi production. As a general rule to be followed in the breeding of draught 
cattle, wo are of opinion that milking qualities should be encouraged 
only in so far as these are entirely consistent with the maintenance of the 
essential qualities which good draught cattle must possess. 

Although government departments have now made a serious beginning 
with cattle improvement, very little progress has yet been made by 
government cattle farms towards meeting the total requirements for young 
bulls. As a general principle regulating such distribution, we commend for 
adoption elsewhere the policy pursued in the United Provinces of limiting 
the issue of breeding bulls to selected districts with a regular inspection both 
of the cows and their progeny and of the bulls placed out. We, therefore. 

Abridged Report 28 

endorse the recommendation of the Bombay Cattle Committee of 1923 
that intensive breeding operations should be conducted in selected areas. 
We consider the selection of areas and inspection of stock to be absolutely 
essential to securing any marked improvement from the issue of selected 
bulls from government farms. 

The production of milk for urban consumers presents problems of great 
complexity. The cultivator, of course, uses milk and its products but 
for these he relies to a great extent on the buffalo. He is principally 
concerned with the cow as the mother of his bullock and attaches only 
secondary importance to its milking capacity. The essentials for a 
successful scheme of urban milk supply are a tract of country in which 
fodder is plentiful or can be easily grown, adequate arrangements for 
transport and a suitable type of cow. A cow for dairy purposes should 
average 5000 Ibs. of milk during a lactation period and the aim should 
be to get an animal with an average of 8000 Ibs. Improvement of 
indigenous breeds by selection is a safer policy for agricultural depart- 
ments to pursue than cross-breeding and this process should also be 
applied to buffaloes. The supply cf milk to urban consumers is at 
present most unsatisfactory. Municipal corporations of the larger cities, 
in addition to organising co-operative societies for the supply of milk 
should promote the establishment of large dairy farms and devise 
means by which capital and business ability may be attracted to large 
scale milk production. 

As a rule, the control of livestock improvement should be entrusted 
to the agricultural departments but we do not recommend any change 
in the present arrangements in the Punjab where the Hissar farm has 
been in charge of successive veterinary officers with exceptional qualifica- 
tions as stock breeders. When veterinary officers show a special aptitude 
for work on livestock improvement, they should be posted to livestc ck 
farms. Each major province should have a whole-time livestock 

At present, there is an Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry and 
Dairying at Bangalore. This is divided into two sections, an animal 
nutrition section under a physiological chemist and a dairying and 
cattle breeding section under the Imperial Dairy Expert. The latter 
section, in addition to the farm at Bangalore, has attached to it 
farms at Wellington and Karnal, and a creamery at Anand in 
Gujarat. We consider that the staff of the animal nutrition section 
should be enlarged and that a scheme for a research institute for the 
investigation of animal nutrition problems should be prepared. There 
should be close touch between the staff of this institute and workers 
on the problems of human nutrition. In vie\v of the fact that 
agriculture is now a provincial subject, we do not recommend the 
permanent retention of the dairying section of the institute nor of its 
cattle breeding stations with the exception of the station at Karnal which 
is well suited to become a centre for any cattle breeding experiments 
which may be required in connection with central research. Each province 
now has or will shortly have its own livestock expert. Cattle breeding 
problems are in the main local and it seems natural and proper that the- 

24 Abridged Report 

ordinary work of cattle breeding should be undertaken by the province* 
themselves. Further we consider it the duty of the provincial colleges to 
provide instruction in dairying for their own students. Such research 
work of an all-India character as is necessary in connection with 
dairying could be conducted more advantageously at Pusa or some 
other scientific centre where chemical assistance is readily available, 
than at the Anand creamery. We do not recommend that these proposals 
should take effect till the present Imperial Dairy Expert retires. The 
three farms and the Anand Creamery should be retained until the 
enlarged nutrition institute has been established and the suggested 
changes at Pusa have been carried into effect. 

As has already been noted, one of the members of the Council of 
Agricultural Research will represent the interests of animal husbandry. 
He should be an authority either in livestock breeding, animal nutrition or 
veterinary medicine. As he cannot be expected to be equally competent 
in all these three branches, arrangements should be made for ad hoc 
committees of experts under his chairmanship to deal with special 

Abridged Report 3ft 


Forests are often described aa the hand maiden of agriculture, and 
it is as such in their relation to the. agriculturists' 

nee <? s ttat we deal *** them * The 7 Fronde the 
cultivator with fodder for his livestock and with 
and timber for his domestic consumption. The part which forests 

play in the protection of soils liable to erosion has also an agricultural 


Grazing in forests is permitted under the Forest Code on payment 
of certain fees or free of all charges. We consider that the replacement 
of grazing by grass cutting would, in many instances, be an improve- 
ment. But the present custom of grazing in forests will, for a very 
long time to come, be an important feature of forest economy. It, 
therefore, seems to us desirable that the intensity of grazing consistent 
with the proper development of forests and the preservation of desirable 
grasses should be determined as soon as possible. 

The question of cut fodder is one which, at present, only comes into 
prominence at times of scarcity or famine. But with the improvement 
of the livestock of the country and the probable consequent develop- 
ment of stall feeding, cut fodder will assume an increasing importance. 
The possibilities of fodder supplies from forest areas should, therefore, 
be carefully examined both by the forest and the agricultural 
departments. Schemes should be devised for the improvement of 
grasses grown in forest and for the encouragement of grass cutting 
in preference to grazing. In this connection, the railway rates for 
fodder which can be transported are an important consideration and 
the railway administrations should offer the lowest rates for the 
transport of fodder compatible with their position as profit-earning 

The next most important matter from the point of view of a 
cultivator is the provision of fuel and timber for domestic purposes. 
As is well known, the practice of burning cowdung cakeb is very general 
in many parts of India and, in defence of this custom, it may be 
remarked that cowdung is at present the only certain supply of fuel 
which the great majority of cultivators can obtain. Before, therefore, 
this practice can be condemned or stopped, the possibility of supplying 
an alternative fuel must be carefully investigated. Fire-wood, charcoal 
and coal are the substitutes for cowdung cakes, but the cultivator must 
be convinced that it is cheaper for him to use one of these substitutes 
than to burn his manure. An investigation into the cost and efficiency 
of wood, charcoal or coal in terms of the loss to agricultural production 
by burning cowdung is urgently required. Into this question, 
again, enters the incidence of railway freights. We also realise that 
traditional custom will be a strong barrier to change of method. The 
breaking down of prejudice and the provision of an equally cheap and 
effective substitute are the essentials. The possibilities of afforestation 
for the increase of fuel supplies should also be thoroughly investigated. 

26 Abridged Report 

We regard the development of forest industries as a matter of great 
importance to agriculturists, especially to those who live in the neigh- 
bourhood of forests, and we consider that a forest utilisation officer 
should be appointed in every province in order that their development 
may be made a definite responsibility of one officer. 

At present, considerable damage is done to forests on hilfe in some 
parts of the country by the habit of shifting cultivation. The methods 
by which shifting cultivation in the Central Provinces has been gradually 
stopped appear to be worth studying by officers faced with this problem 
in other provinces. Where serious deterioration has taken place, the 
essential remedy in regions of heavy rainfall, that is, where the rainfall 
is over 60 inches, is protection against damage by cultivators and their 
goats and cuttle in order to allow of natural regeneration. In tracts 
of light rainfall, there is no generally satisfactory remedy, but, in 
carefully selected areas, artificial regeneration might be possible though 
at heavy cost. 

We consider that forest areas should be reclassified into areas most 
suitable for the growth of timber or for fuel plantations, or the 
preservation of which is desirable on climatic or physical grounds, those 
most suitable for development as fodder reserves or grazing grounds, and 
areas which should be handed over to ordinary cultivation. 

The most promising method of establishing village forests is to hand 
over to village management certain more or less wooded areas now under 
the control of the Forest Department. Management by the people 
for the people of the forests close to their villages possesses so many 
desirable features that every effort should be made to ensure its success. 
We, therefore, recommend that, in each province, Government should 
aim at establishing two divisions within the forest departments, the 
officers in one division to be responsible for the charge of forests, the 
preservation of which is desirable on climatic or physical grounds and 
of commercial forests, that is of those forests managed with a view to 
direct profits from the sale of timber and other forest products ; the 
other division to be in charge of minor forests, fuel plantations, village 
woodlands and waste land, now chiefly used for grazing and often 
included under unclasHed forests. Officers- of this second division, in 
addition to the conservation of the natural resources of such areas, 
should be definitely charged with the responsibility of developing 
them and should be encouraged to make experiments in sylviculture 
and in the improvement of gm/ing areas. Whether the minor forests 
division should continue under the Forest Department or be placed 
under the Revenue Department is a question for decision in the 
light of the local conditions. If the second alternative is adopted, 
the Revenue Department should have the advice and assistance 
of officers who possess a knowledge of forestry, more especially of 

To foster closer touch between the forest and agricultural depart- 
ments, it would, as in the case of irrigation officer*,, be an advantage if 
short courses were instituted at the agricultural colleges for all newly 

Abridged Report 27 

recruited forest officers. Further, a forest officer, before being posted 
to the new minor forests division, should, we consider, be attached for 
a period of not less than three months to the headquarters of the 
provincial agricultural departments with the object of making himself 
thoroughly acquainted with the view of the department as to the needs 
of the cultivators in the vicinity of the forests which he is to administer 
and in the province generally. 

28 Abridged Report 


The working capital of the cultivator is mainly represented by his 

CKAPTXB IXOFTHB livestock and losses of his cattle from disease press 
MAIH RBPOBT. hardly on him. The recorded figures, imperfect 

though they admittedly are, indicate that the annual number of deaths 
is very considerable and that rinderpest takes the largest toll. Apart 
from losses by death, extensive indirect losses occur from the large 
number of cattle temporarily incapacitated by disease. The more serious 
diseases of cattle in India are rinderpest, ha&morrhagic septicawnia and 
foot-and-mouth disease. The general prevalence of these diseases is 
probably one of the most serious obstacles to the improvement 
of cattle. 

The outstanding problem which faces the civil veterinary departments, 
is thus the control of contagious diseases. The proposals we make in 
regard to the organisation of the departments, the training of their staff 
and the research they should undertake hinge on this. They will thus 
be more reaciily understood if we discuss the measures necessary to 
combat disease. We discuss rinderpest in detail because it is the most 
formidable disease of cattle in India and because the measures necessary 
to control it are typical of other contagious diseases. 

Rinderpest was formerly the most dreaded of all livestock scourges in 
western countries. It is now non-existent. The inadequacy of the 
veterinary staff, the prohibitive cost of compensation combined with 
prejudices against the destroying of healthy animals which have been 
in contact with infected ones render the adoption of western methods 
impracticable in India. Nor is it possible to isolate and safeguard parts 
of India by interposing belts of protected country between permanently 
infected areas and areas from which the adoption of intensive measures 
has succeeded in eradicating the disease. In these circumstances and 
for the present, rinderpest and other contagious diseases must be com- 
bated by measures designed to protect the individual animal rather 
than by those which aim at stamping out the source of infection. 

The method in general use at present for dealing with rinderpest is 
inoculation by what is known as the " serum-alone " method. The 
blood serum of an animal which lias recovered from the disease is 
injected into cattle which it is desired to protect in doses propor- 
tionate to their body weight and their breed. Protection lasts only 
for a brief period. With the dose commonly used an animal is safe 
for a period of nine to fifteen days. Animals after protection by 
serum are allowed to mix freely with infected stock in the hope that 
they may contract a mild form of rinderpest and thus remain permanently 
immune, for, after recovery, an animal is immune from further attack. 
This " serum-alone " method is now very largely and effectively used 
in India in checking outbreaks of rinderpest. 

The serum-alone method is, however, subject to the very serious 
limitation that it confers complete immunity for less than a fortnight 
whilst infection may persist in a village for a much longer period, 

Abridged Report 2& 

Animals are, therefore, liable to contract disease unless they are 
re-inoculated and, when they do so, the process is discredited in the 
eyes of their owners. Re-inoculation, on the other hand, is not only 
expensive but when an outbreak is widespread, is often impossible. 

The principle on which protected animals are exposed to infection is 
sound but it would appear in practice that the chances that the disease 
will be contracted at the right moment are not good. To ensure 
infection, therefore, another process known as the serum-simultaneous, 
or active, method of conferring immunity has been devised. In this 
process a small quantity (from J to 1 c.c.) of virulent blood taken 
from a diseased animal is injected into the animal at the same time 
that serum is used. A mild attack of rinderpest follows, the tissues 
of the animal prepare their own " antibodies " and an immunity which, 
in some instances, has been found to be permanent and, in others, to 
last for about three years is set up. The efficacy of the method has 
been proved in countries as far apart as Russia, South Africa and the 
Philippines while its success in Egypt is of particular interest to India. 
In India, only one experiment on an intensive scale has so far been made 
in the Mysore State. Experience obtained there shows that the 
serum-simultaneous method is safe, effective and readily accepted by 
cultivators. Our examination of the evidence available as to the results 
obtained in India and in other countries from the use of the serum-simul- 
taneous method of inoculation has led us to the conclusion that the 
introduction of this method is strongly to be recommended and that, 
indeed, it offers the only hopeful means of combating the ravages of 
rinderpest. Provided the materials used for inoculation are properly 
controlled, and the work of inoculation is carried out under the super- 
vision of an experienced veterinary surgeon, careful to guard against 
such accidents as may occur, the risk involved is so slight that, in view 
of the great benefits incurred, it should be accepted without hesitation. 

We are aware that there are practical difficulties which indicate 
the probability of some opposition from cultivators to the adoption 
of this method. In these circumstances, we consider that resort to 
compulsory inoculation would, at present, be undesirable. Cultivators 
should be given an opportunity of seeing what inoculation can do to 
protect their cattle before they are required to accept compulsory 
measures. To this, we would make one exception. We consider that 
compulsory inoculation by the simultaneous method should be enforced 
for all animals kept by milk sellers in largo cities. 

Outbreaks of rinderpest will supply favourable opportunities for 
popularising the use of simultaneous inoculation among cultivators and 
it miy be hoped that co-operative breeding societies ard cow-keeping 
societies will also show an example to the cultivator in this matter. 

Experience has shown that when charges, however small, are nmde for 
inoculation, the extended use of preventive inrculation is greatly chcc Iced. 
We, therefore, recommend that all charges for inoculation, not only 
against rinderpest but also against other contagious diseases, should be 

30 Abridged Report 

Rinderpest, although the most important, is only one of the serious 
infectious diseases to which Indian livestock are liable. In discussing 
the measures which should be undertaken to deal with it, sufficient has 
been said to show that the suppression of epidemics must make large 
demands on the professional skill, the energy and the judgment of the 
officers in charge of the operations and that the type of education which 
such officers should possess is of a different order from that necessary for 
officers competent to deal with the diseases and injuries that are met with 
in ordinary veterinary dispensary practice. It will also be evident that 
to cope successfully with epidemic diseases, the number of officers 
employed by provincial governments must be largely increased. 
But as no staff, however large and skilled, can be fully effective, unless 
Government have the power to control the spread of infection, we re- 
commend that a Contagious Diseases of Animals Act should be passed 
with a view to ensuring a uniform procedure in dealing with contagious 
diseases. The Act should empower local governments to apply by 
administrative order to any tract such of its provisions as may be 
applicable in the circumstances of the case. 

The provision of veterinary aid in India is at present totally 
inadequate. Apart from a few practitioners in the large towns, there are 
no veterinary surgeons in private practice in India. There are in civil 
employ about 32 veterinary surgeons in the Indian Veterinary Service 
and 52 in the provincial services whilst the number cf veterinary 
inspectors and veterinary assistant surgeons in 1927 was about 1,400. 
Several of the superior stai! are employed in teaching and other duties. 
Thus some 33 only are available for the control and treatment of disease 
and of this small corps of officers, less than one-half are licensed to 
practise veterinary medicine and surgery through possessing the diploma 
of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. 

These figures sufficiently show the inadequacy of the existing arrange- 
ments for controlling contagious diseases and attending to animals 
sultering from ordinary ailments and from injuries. 

Veterinary aid is supplied by permanent dispensaries, by itinerating 
veterinary assistants or by both methods. We recommend the 
establishment in each district of a central veterinary hospital having 
accommodation for in-patients with a number of dispensaries serving 
subdivisions of the district. To meet the obvious shortcomings of the 
single dispensary serving a large tract of country, we recommend that 
the stai? attached to dispensaries should be increased and men sent out 
to lour in the surrounding districts. The value of most veterinary 
dispensaries would, in this way, be more than doubled. 

Our view is that the control of contagious disease mast rest with 
the provincial Government whose staff, so far as is practicable, should 
consist of qualified veterinarians. The duty of providing a local 
veterinary service for treating diseases not scheduled as contagious and 
dealing with operations and wounds should, when the necessary arrange- 
ments can be made, rest with local bodies. It is in the light of this 

Abridged Report 31 

distinction that we proceed to frame our proposals for the future 
organisation of the veterinary departments. 

The first necessity is a very substantial increase of veterinary 
officers of all grades. The aim should be to provide at least one veterinary 
assistant surgeon for every* 25 ,000 cattle and one qualified veterinary 
surgeon for each district, who would have on an average about 600,000 
cattle, in addition to other livestock, in the area under his charge. There 
are 272 districts in British India, so that, on this basis, the number of 
Provincial Service officers required would be in the neighbourhood of 300^ 
allowing provision for leave reserves. The number of veterinary assistant 
surgeons would roughly be increased fourfold, that is, to about 6,000 
officers. The co-operation and assistance of Indian States would also be 
necessary. If their staff were on the same scale, the total number of 
qualified veterinary surgeons in the employment of Government and 
that of Indian States, including the staff of the veterinary colleges, and 
officers employed in supervising duties, would be over 400 and the total 
number of veterinary assistant surgeons about 7,500. 

The organisation which we would therefore propose is as follows. In 
each p'ovince there would be a Chief Veterinary Officer who might be 
styled Director of Veterinary Services. He would be in administrative 
control of the veterinary work in the province. The principal . of the 
veterinary college should stand in the same relation to the Director of 
Veterinary Services in the province as the principal of an agricultural 
college to the Director of Agriculture. The posts of Director and 
Principal should be scheduled as selection posts outside the cadre of the 
provincial veterinary services. It is most important that the holders 
of these posts should be officers of ability and strong personality and, 
if need be, the provincial Government should be prepared to recruit 
an officer from outside the country. The rate of pay attaching to both 
posts should be reconsidered. 

Under the Director of Veterinary Services in each province there would 
ba deput/y directors in charge of circles. These officers would be members 
of the present Indian Veterinary Service or of the new superior provin- 
cial veterinary services. Ordinarily vacancies in the latter service will 
be filled by promotion from members of tho existing provincial 
veterinary services. The duties to be performed by the deputy directors 
will be responsible and vacancies should be filled by direct recruitment 
whenever an officer with the requisite abilities is not available -from the 
existing Pr6vincial Service. We suggest that an appropriate scale of 
pay for the new superior provincial veterinary services would be the 
existing " scale of the Indian Veterinary Service. Underneath these 
administrative officers would be qualified veterinary surgeons, members 
of the provincial veterinary services and the aim should be to provide 
a qualified vete inary surgeon for each district. The primary duty 
of these services would be the control of epidemic disease but it would 
also be entrusted with the supervision of dispensaries and of touring 
veterinary assistants. The present scale of pay of the provincial veteri- 
nary services, Rs. 250 to Rs. 750 per mensem seems adequate. Beneath 

82 Abridged Report 

this grade would be the subordinate veterinary services consisting of 
veterinary assistant surgeons in charge of the veterinary dispensaries 
and the veterinary work in the area commanded. The grade of veterin- 
ary inspectors, where it exists, should be abolished when the duties of 
inspection can be taken over by duly qualified veterinary surgeons. 
We do not recommend the complete provincialisation of the Veterinary 
Department. The subordinate veterinary services will continue, as at 
present, to be lent by Government to local boards. Progress in the 
direction of transferring greater responsibility to local bodies in veterin- 
ary matters, though desirable, will have to be made more gradually. 
When the complete control of the veterinary work, apart frcm that con- 
nected with the control and prevention of epidemic diseases, is entrusted 
to them, the assistance given by local goverrments to their brarch of 
veterinary aid should take the form of a conditional grant-in-aid which 
might be given on a pro rota basis. It should be made a condition of 
the grant-in-aid that local bodies should look to the provincial 
veterinary services for advice and inspection and should consult the 
Director of Veterinary Services in regard to all appointments. In the 
mean time, local bodies should be consulted in regard to appointments, 
transfers, promotions, punishments, and dismissals of veterinary assist- 
ants employed in their dispensaries. 

When the complete control of the veterinary assistant surgeons 
employed by them passes to the local boards, it will be necessary to 
create a veterinary reserve corps of selected veterinary assistants to deal 
with contagious diseases. Experienced veterinary assistants would be 
selected for membership of this corps by arrangement with the local 
bodies under which they are workirg. This, it is hoped, will rerder it 
possible to deal effectively with contagious diseases without 
interfering with the work of the dispensaries. 

For the training of veterinary surgeons, that is the provincial veterin- 
ary services and the assistant veterinary surgeons, two entirely distinct 
courses of study are required with different entrance requirements and 
different classes at a 1 ! stages. The framing of a suitable curriculum for 
the training of the latter class in the existing veterinary colleges should 
be referred to a body of experts. Special prominence should be given in 
the course to the anatomy and the diseases of cattle. For the provincial 
veterinary services, that is, for the district veterinary surgeons, the 
course which should be settled by conference between the university 
and veterinary authorities concerned, should extend over a period of 
five yearn from matriculation and should end in a degree. We do not 
recommend the establishment of an all-India veterinary college nor the 
expansion of the Nfuktesar Institute as an educational centre. We 
consider that the most satisfactory method is to train candidates for 
the provincial veterinary services in all provinces at ore of the existing 
veterinary colleges. The additional expenditure involved in adapting 
the selected college to undertake higher veterinary education should Ve 
met by the Government of India. A short period at Muktesar should 
be included m or supplement the course at the selected college. We 

Abridged Report 88 

recommend that the course of training for the provincial service should 
at present be limited to candidates nominated by the Government of 
India, provincial governments or Indian States, and that they should 
receive suitable stipends from the authority nominating them during 
their period of training. Officers on the teaching staff of the veterinary 
colleges should be expected and encouraged to undertake research work. 
In order to carry out successfully the training of the greatly increased 
number both of veterinary surgeons and assistant surgeons which our 
proposals require, it is most important that the principals and the staff 
of the colleges should be picked men. The staff should form part of 
the new superior provincial veterinary services. As a rule, special re- 
cruitment will be necessary but officers in the ordinary line of the 
Indian Veterinary Service and the new superior provincial veterinary 
services should be eligible for appointment. In order to secure officers 
with the requisite qualifications, it may be necessary to give special pay 
personal to the individual officer and based on his qualifications and 

At present, veterinary research is mainly concentrated at the Imperial 
Institute of Veterinary Research at Muktesar. We consider that this 
Institute is all that is required to deal with general problems of 
veterinary research and that any extension of central research in the 
immediate future should be provided by such additions to the staff 
and equipment of Muktesar as the nature of the work contemplated 
may call for. The Director of the Institute should be selected for his 
scientific qualifications and should be a man of outstanding position 
in the profession. As the number of superior posts at Muktesar is so 
small, we do not consider that any advantage would be gained in present 
conditions by the formation of a Central Veterinary Service. When 
an appointment, including that of Director, falls vacant, the officer re- 
cruited to fill it should be given a scale of pay in accordance with his 
special qualifications and experience. In view, however, of the very 
heavy administrative work which the manufacture of the various som 
and vaccines involves, we consider that the Director should have 
attached to him, an officer with administrative experience to relieve 
him as far as possible of administrative detail. It is also important 
that an Institute such as Muktesar should have a thoroughly competent 
staff for secretarial work and estate management. The expenditure 
on research in Muktesar should be separated as far as possible from that 
on manufacturing operations and we consider that the provinces and 
States should share in anv profits from the manufacture of sera and 
vaccines in proportion to their purchases. We recommend that the 
administrative control of the Muktesar Institute, at present vested in 
the Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India, should pass to the 
Director of the Institute, whose position, vis-a-vis the Muktesar 
Institute on the one hand and on the other the Council of Agricultural 
Research, would be precisely that of the Director of Pusa to his own 
Institution and to the Council. 

The Council of Agricultural Research should have a small 
Standing* Committee to deal with veterinary matters with powers 
MO Y 392 3 

34 Abridffd Report 

to co-opt members and constitute special committees for particular 
subjects. In these circumstances, we do not consider that the revival 
of the Inspector General of the Civil Veterinary Department or the 
creation of a post of a Veterinary Adviser to the Government of India 
i necessary. 

Abridged Report $& 


The Report of the Irrigation Commisaion of 1903 was so comprehensive 
and its recommendations so exhaustive that no 
T * 1 former wy&J of a similar character has been 
considered necessary. Irrigation policy and 
development have followed, in the main, the lines laid down by 
the Commission. Our concern with irrigation is purely from the 
agricultural point of view. 

The part which irrigation plays in the rural economy of the different** 
provinces varies greatly from province to province, but it is of chief im- 
portance in Bind, the Punjab, the North-West Frontier Province, Madras, 
the United Provinces and Bihar and Orissa. On an average, for the five 
years from 1921-22 to 1925-26, nearly 50 million acres were irrigated by 
government and private irrigation works, the percentage of irrigated 
area to area sown being 19*4. Practically half the total area irrigated 
is irrigated by canals, the remainder being irrigated by tanks, wells and 
other sources. 

We do not describe in detail the existing canal systems of India but 
indicate some of the principal projects in hand or contemplated. The 
very brief description which follows must not be regarded as in any way 
indicating a preference on our part for a particular scheme. 

In the Punjab, where the area under irrigation from government 
works has steadily increased from 2*3 million acres in 1887-88 to an 
average of 10*4 million acres from 1921-22 to 1925-26, the possibilities 
of further expansion are far from exhausted. The Sutlej Valley project, 
which is the only large project at present under construction in the 
Punjab, will, when completed in 1933-34, provide perennial irrigation for 
two million acres. But other great schemes are under consideration. The 
Thai project, even in its revised form, would command an area of nearly 
a million-and-a-half acres. The Haveli project would bring perennial 
irrigation to an area of about 700,000 acres. The Sutlej Dam project 
would add two million acres of rain cultivation between the Sutlej and 
the Jumna rivers. 

At present, the existing canals in Sind are almost entirely of the 
inundation type. They only obtain water for some five months 
when the Indus is in flood and this only in fluctuating quantities. 
The construction of the Sukkur Barrage across the Indus just below 
Sukkur which, when completed, will be the greatest work of its 
kind in the world, will entirely change this. It is anticipated that it 
will irrigate over five million acres of which two million acres are at 
present very unsatisfactorily irrigated from the existing inundation 

In the United Provinces, the Sarda Canal is the only project of 
uti$>ortance under construction. This will, it is estimated, irrigate 
annually an area of about 1*7 million acres. On its completion, all the 
principal available resources for perennial irrigation in the Unite4 
Provinces 'will have been tapped. 
MO y 392 &* 

36 Abridged Report 

In Madras, the great irrigation systems, the Godavari, the Kktna 
and the Cauvery differ completely in character from those already 
described. The problem has been to regulate the supply rather 
than to extend it to new areas. The works consist of weirs by which a 
sufficient head of water is obtained to irrigate the lands of the deltas and 
of sluices and regulators by means of which the water is conducted over 
these lands. The new works under construction or consideration are 
storage reservoirs to impound the water of the great rivers of the 
province, their tributaries and other streams, with a view to supplement 
the existing supplies. The Cauvery-Mettur project, at present under 
construction, will, it is estimated, improve the supply of an area of a 
million acres already irrigated and bring under irrigation a new area 
of 221,000 acres of first crop and 90,000 acres of second crop, while it 
will also supplement supplies in an existing wet area of 80,000 acres 
now inadequately irrigated. Two projects which have long been under 
consideration are the Kistna and the Tungabhadra projects. Attention 
is now being concentrated on a revised scheme for impounding the waters 
of the Tungabhadra by the construction of a reservoir at Timmalapuram 
in the Bellary district. This would provide water for a wide extension 
of irrigation in tracts very liable to scarcity. We are not in a position to 
express any opinion as to the feasibility of either of these projects from 
the financial or the technical point of view. 

In Bombay proper, as distinguished from Sind, irrigation 
by canals is confined to the Deccan and (on a very small scale) to 
Gujarat. The most important works are of the reservoir type : the 
Khadak Waslu Dam across the Mutha river, ten miles above Poona, 
which was completed in 1879, being the first work of its kind in India. 
The object of irrigation in Bombay proper is mainly protection against 
famine and only about 450,000 acres are irrigated from government 
works. With a very few exceptions, there is a heavy annual loss 
in their working. This is the more unfortunate as the rainfall of the 
Western Ghats which they utilise is unfailing. The most important new 
work of this kind is the Lloyd Dam at Bhatgar intended to protect a part 
of SHulapur district which is specially liable to famine and also to improve 
existing irrigation. 

Next to canals, wells are the most important source of irrigation 
and, during the five years ending 1925-26, they have on the average 
irrigated annually over eleven million acres. These wells are of all kinds 
varying from mere holes in the ground to elaborate masonry structures 
of great width and considerable depth or tubes of small bore, from which 
by power pumping, large and continuous supplies of water can be 
obtained. \Vell irrigation is most highly developed in the United 
Provinces where over 4$ million acres are irrigated from them. Tanks are 
the third great source of irrigation. These range from storage reservoirs, 
the distributary channels from which irrigate several thousand ^cre^to 
small works irrigating only a few acres. They are of special iruportljpft 
in Madras. 

Since the introduction of the Reforms, local governments &re in ft 
position to raise the funds required for protective irrigation schemes by 

Abridged Report 3? 

loans if they are unable to finance protective schemes of irrigation from 
current revenues or from the Famine Insurance Fund which th&y are 
bound to maintain. We trust that, so far as the financial situation may 
allow, this may encourage the construction of further protective works. 

The problem of preventing the waste of irrigation water, of securing 
greater certainty to the cultivator as to the supply he will receive and 
of relieving him from any harassment and interference from the staff 
which records his irrigation has long engaged the attention of irrigation 
experts in India. The Indian Irrigation Commission took the view 
that it would be of great advantage both to Government and tile 
cultivators if the latter could be induced to take over their supplies at 
the outlets, to arrange all details of internal distribution between them- 
selves and to relieve the canal administration of all further responsibility 
and of the great expense of recording the details of the irrigation and 
of making the final measurements and assessments. They concluded, 
however, that the system of charging by volume could not be safely 
introduced in India until a system of distribution by modules of the 
type which it might be proposed to use had been in force for a time 
sufficiently long to enable the people to understand what was proposed. 
They held that, even then, the change in the system of assessment 
should not be forced but should be introduced gradually, as the people 
learned to appreciate its advantages. They added that it was an end to 
be aimed at and that irrigation officers should be encouraged to design 
and experiment on modules which would be suited to the conditions to be 
met with in practice, until the work of distribution could be carried out 
with all the regularity and certainty which were essential to the success 
of any scheme of charging by volume. These recommendations of 
the Irrigation Commission marked the starting point of investigations 
into the possibility of more scientific and equitable distribution of water. 
Much progress has been effected in recent years in the improvement 
of the system of distribution. Every distributary in the Punjab has 
been, or is being, fitted with a meter so that the exact amount of water 
passed into it is known. By this means, considerable economy of 
supply has been effected, enabling irrigation to be extended to areas 
for which water was not previously available, and the opportunities 
of harassment and interference by the subordinate staff have been 
greatly reduced. But irrigation engineers display some scepticism 
as to the possibility of the sale of water by volume. Many arguments 
against this system were brought before us but we consider that further 
investigation and experiment are eminently desirable before a final 
decision against the sale of water by volume is reached. 

Even under the, area system of distribution, some cultivators make 
their water go much further than others. No reduction in the supply of 
water should be made solely because water has been economically used. 

p|^ was suggested to us by several witnesses that the distribution 
Sir water should be transferred from the Irrigation to the Agricultural 
Department. We see no advantage in this proposal. We are of opinion 
bhat $ie're is at present no practical alternative to the system 

38 Abridged Report 

of government control over distribution down to the field distributaries. 
There can, however, be little doubt that the general introduction of the 
sale of water by volume would greatly facilitate the substitution of 
private for official management of the minor distributaries. Irrigation 
panchayats for management of field distributaries seem to be a suitable 
organisation for obtaining collective action and fair dealing amongst 
cultivators. At present, the fundamental obstacle to entrusting 
distribution of water to private agency is the attitude of the cultivator 
himself. Water is so vital a thing to him that he is not yet prepared 
to leave his interest in this matter to the decision of his fellows. The 
group spirit which the panchayol would create might remove these 
difficulties and develop the mutual confidence necessary for the successful 
management of the larger distributaries. 

Apart from the great irrigation schemes, smaller storage works and 
minor sources of irrigation are in certain tracts of great importance to 
cultivators. In Bombay, particular attention has recently been paid to 
this subject and, in 1925, a superintending engineer was placed on special 
duty to investigate natural resources for the protection of lands from 
famine. We are of opinion that much could be done to promote the 
development of minor works if the example of the Bombay Government 
were followed in other provinces and we would also suggest that the 
operations in Bombay should be extended to districts outside the 
insecure tracts. What is wanted in our view is an agency to which the 
cultivator who wishes to improve his land by utilising the natural sources 
of water supply can turn for technical advice and assistance. This 
agency should not wait for the cultivator to consult it, but should go to 
him and urge him to adopt the scheme best calculated to utilise his 
available water supply to the fullest advantage. The personnel should 
regard its function as educative rather than purely advisory. We, 
therefore, recommend that the construction and maintenance of minor 
irrigation works should be entrusted to a special agency. 

Irrigation from tube wells is a comparatively recent development in 
India. They are almost entirely in private ownership and are 
privately financed, except in the United Provinces where substantial 
grants are given for their construction. Loans under the Land Improve- 
ment Loans Act are, of course, available for the purposes of sinking 
tube wells. Technical advice and assistance are freely given by the 
government department concerned and the well is, in fact, usually 
installed by that department subject to the payment of moderate fees 
for services rendered. In the United Provinces, an elaborate system 
of subsidy exists, the effect of which is that nearly one-half the cost is 
borne by Government. In addition to the assistance thus given, 
zamindars who undertake to multiply seed for Government or to lease 
land to Government for demonstration purposes may receive, in special 
cases, grants-in-aid up to a maximum of Rs. 3,000. We understand 
that, in practice, such grants are invariably applied for and are given at 
the maximum rate. We see no justification for the system of subsidies 
which has been adopted in the United Provinces and recommend that 
it should be terminated. 

Abridged Report 39 

We consider that the department entrusted with the charge of 
pumping and boring operations should make detailed investigating 
into the economics of tube well irrigation and should also carry out 
a systematic survey of the jubsoil water supplies. Government respon- 
sibility for the development of such irrigation should be limited to the 
supply of economic data, expert advice, and finance, where required, on 
the taccavi system. Government assistance may also include placing at 
the disposal of the landholder the boring equipment and skilled labour 
necessary on payment of a reasonable fee in tracts in which the scope for 
tube weUs is limited or in which they are still a novelty ; but, in general, 
private enterprise in such matters should not be discouraged by govern- 
ment competition. We are of opinion that pumping and boring opera- 
tions should be entrusted to the agricultural departments. 

The area irrigated by ordinary wells in British India is practically 
stationary. Construction of such wells is essentially a matter for 
private enterprise, but there are many ways in which the agricultural 
and irrigation departments can help the landholder. The agency for 
minor irrigation works which we have recommended and the engineering 
section of the agricultural departments should be able to give much 
technical assistance. In tracts where holdings are very small and where 
the construction of a well is beyond the capacity of the individual, every 
effort should be made to encourage co-operative sinking and working 
of wells. In some parts of India, the number of abandoned wells is 
large and we would suggest that, where this is the case, a special enquiry 
should be made by the Revenue Department into the reasons why 
the wells have fallen into disuse. 

In addition to irrigation by canals, wells and tanks, numerous tempo- 
rary bunds for the storage of rainfall are constructed each season and 
water is obtained by lift from rivers and streams. In the aggregate these 
various subsidiary sources of irrigation are important as they supply over 
ten per cent of the total irrigation. We consider that there i a wide 
field of opportunity here for the branch of the agricultural engineering 
department responsible for pumping operations to devise cheap and effi- 
cient pumps and to induce private enterprise to undertake their multi- 
plication and to provide a repairing service for them. 

It is clear that the relations between the agricultural and irrigation 
departments should be of the closest as they are so intimately concerned 
with the problems of land improvement. We are of opinion that 
the views of the Director of Agriculture should be obtained at an 
early stage on the agricultural aspect of all new irrigation schemes, 
that there should be frequent consultations between the heads of the 
agricultural and irrigation departments and that their views should be 
formally on record. Further, in order that the officers of one 
department may have some acquaintance with the problems of the 
other, we recommend that short courses on agriculture for irrigation 
officers and on irrigation for agricultural officers should be instituted. 

In order that the cultivators, for the furtherance of whose interests 
the Irrigation Department exists, should have a more direct avenue of 

40 Abridged Report 

approach to the responsible officers of the department and "to Government, 
we would suggest the creation, in those provinces in which irrigation is 
of importance, of an organisation on the analogy of the local railway 
advisory committees composed of representatives of the irrigation, 
revenue and agricultural departments with a majority of non-official 
members who should, if possible, be cultivators. The main duty of this 
advisory committee would be to deal with complaints from cultivators 
or associations of cultivators in regard to irrigation matters. 

The Government of India have recently constituted a Central 
Irrigation Board of which the Consulting Engineer to the Government 
of India and all the chief engineers for irrigation in the provinces are 
members. The Board will work through sub-committees consisting of 
those engineers with recent experience of works akin to those to be dis- 
cussed. These sub-committees will be convened by the Government of 
India at the instance of the local Government concerned when a new 
project is about to be sanctioned or when a province finds itself in diffi- 
culties in any technical matter. In addition to this Central Irrigation 
Board, we propose the establishment of a Central Bureau of Informa 
tion for Irrigation which might suitably be placed in charge of the 
Consulting Engineer to the Government of India with its headquar- 
ters at Delhi. The main functions of the Bureau would be to 
establish and maintain a comprehensive library of irrigation publications 
and to act as a clearing house of information needed by provincial officers. 
It should endeavour to keep agricultural officers and the public generally 
in touch with irrigation developments in India and abroad. We also re- 
commend annual or biennial meetings of irrigation engineers to be held 
in rotation in different provinces and in localities which possess features 
of special interest to the irrigation engineer. We also consider that 
provision for research on irrigation problems should be made in all 
provinces in which irrigation is of importance. The matters for 
investigation would include the distribution and application of water 
required for crops, the question of waterlogging, drainage and lining of 
canals. The scientific staff of the Indian universities might assist in the 
solution of irrigation problems for which geological, chemical or mecha- 
nical knowledge is required. We do not consider that a case has been 
made out for the establishment of a centra) station for irrigation research. 
The work of provincial stations engaged in such research should, however, 
be reviewed from time to time by a committee appointed by the local 
Government in consultation with the Central Board of Irrigation and the 
Council of Agricultural Research. 

Many of the troubles which have arisen in the irrigated tracts of India 
in regard to waterlogging and the formation of alkali lands have been 
due to failure properly to correlate a new irrigation system with the 
natural drainage of the tract, We, therefore, consider that drainage maps 
should be drawn up by competent engineers who possess the necessary 
agricultural insight. Once these maps have been made it will be easy to 
control all such undertakings as the construction of roads, railways, 
canals and embankments and to see that nothing interferes with crop 

Abridged Report 41 

Questions arising out of the great extension of irrigation in Sind as the 
result of the construction of the Sukkur Barrage are dealt with in detail 
in the main Report, as also are questions specially affecting the North- 
West Frontier Province and Baluchistan. As these questions, though 
important, are of local interest, they need not be referred to here. For 
the same reason we do not mention the problems peculiar to Bengal 
which are also dealt with in the main Report. These are so complex 
in their character and their solution is of such importance to Bengal 
that we consider that a committee of experts should be appointed to 
investigate them. 

In regard to hydro-electric development, it is to be noted that the 
natural reserves of water power available in certain parts of India are 
considerable. In existing conditions, we consider that the immediate 
openings for electric power for agricultural purposes are confined to 
pumping schemes. Information required in connection with hydro- 
electric development should be supplied by the Central Bureau 
of Information for Irrigation. In view of the highly technical nature 
of the subject, expert advice in regard to any particular scheme of 
development should be obtained from a firm of consulting engineers. 

42 Abridged Report 


Good communications are of great importance to the cultivator 
for on them largely depends his opportunity for 
the k vourable marketing of his produce. It is 
the improvement in communications since the 
middle of the last century that, more than any other factor, has brought 
about the change from subsistence farming to the growing of money crops 
such as cotton, jute and groundnuts. But good communications also 
react upon every aspect of the cultivator's life for the closer connection 
which they create between the villages and the towns must stimulate 
the more backward rural community to demand a higher standard 
of education as part of a higher general standard of living. They also 
induce interchange of ideas and so broaden the cultivators' outlook on 
life. The milage of railways and roads in India is rapidly expanding. 
All roads, except those of military importance, are a transferred sub]ect 
in the major provinces. In Bengal, practically all the roads are under 
the district boards, who meet the entire cost of construction and repair 
from the roads and public works cesses. In Madras also, roads with few 
exceptions, are in charge of the local authorities but they receive sub- 
stantial financial assistance from provincial revenues. In other provinces, 
except in the Punjab, roads fall into two classes, those of provincial 
importance which are maintained by the Public Works Department and 
local roads which are maintained by local bodies. Roads in the Punjab 
have been classified very systematically. Class I roads form the arteries 
of the road system and are maintained by the Public Works Department. 
Class II roads are those which pass through more than one district or 
connecting important places. These are in charge of the district boards 
but the expenditure on them is shared by government and local funds. 
Other roads fall in class III. In all provinces, village roads, that is, roads 
connecting villages which are not on any through line of communications 
with the road system of the district are almost entirely a matter for the 
villagers themselves. Such roads are often mere tracks that can onty be 
used during dry weather. 

The evidence we received shows that the condition of the roads in India 
has deteriorated in recent years, and that the rapid expansion of motor 
traffic has brought into existence an entirely new range of problems of 
road construction and maintenance. This new factor has led to the 
recent appointment by the Government of India of a Road Development 
Committee, consisting of fourteen members of the Central Legislatures, 
which is investigating the whole question of road development in India. 
The concern of this Committee is primarily with the development of the 
main roads, but we would emphasise the importance of subsidiary 
comunications which are of even greater concern to the cultivator. His 
village must be linked up with the main arterial roads if he is to get the 
advantage of good communications. 

Road boards have been established in some provinces. Their functions- 
are in the main advisory and it is only in the Punjab and Burma 
that they have wider functions and have embarked upon an ordered 

Abridged, Report 43 

programme of road development.. We recommend that road boards 
with powers similar to those which have been given to the boards in the 
Punjab and Burma should be constituted in all provinces. 

In the administration of their road policy, local boards are very much 
handicapped by lack of funds and we consider that loca.l governments 
might give liberal financial assistance where a well-devised scheme has 
been thought out. The matter is of such importance that we would 
recommend flotation of loans for this purpose rather than that expend- 
iture should be met from current revenues. There is, unfortunately, 
always a danger that main roads will receive a disproportionate amount 
of attention. Liberal grants-in-aid should be given from provincial 
revenues for the construction and improvement of village roads, 
although improvement of such roads must in the main depend upon 
the efforts of the villagers themselves. To this end, co-operative action 
on their part should be encouraged. All district boards should have the 
services of a qualified engineer. 

It is desirable that, in the development of communications 
generally, railways and roads should be regarded as complementary to 
each other. Roads should be designed to serve rather as feeders to the 
railways than as competitors for traffic. Railway freight rates are 
frequently criticised from the point of view of the agriculturist. We 
do not accept the view that rates are generally too high, but we suggest 
a periodical revision of rates with a view to the adjustment of their 
incidence as between various sorts of produce We consider it desirable 
that closer co-operation between the railway and agricultural departments 
should be secured by the appointment of the Director of Agriculture 
or the Marketing Officer in each province as a member of the local 
advisory committee on railways. 

With regard to water ways, the only point brought prominently to 
our notice was the extent to which their use is hampered by the spread 
of water hyacinth in Assam, Bengal and Burma. Various attempts 
have been made to deal with this pest but with indifferent success. 
Further research is urgently needed and, as the problem affects a number 
of provinces, we consider that a programme of work should be formulat- 
ed by the Council of Agricultural Research so that concerted action 
can be taken simultaneously in all the provinces affected. 


The agricultural departments in India have done much to improve 
the quality and to increase the quantity of the cultivator's outturn but 
it cannot be said that they have been able to give him substantial help 
in securing the best possible financial return for his improved quality 
and his increased outturn. This is the only inducement that can be 
held out to the cultivator to adopt improved seed and he is not likely to 
take much trouble if he finds that he cannot get a better price for his 
improved produce. For this comparative indifference to quality, the 
middleman may in part be responsible as he is inclined to buy rather 
in quantity than in quality, and it is only when an improved variety 

44 Abridged Report 

has been grown over a large concentrated area that a reputation for 
quality can be obtained and a premium price commanded. There is 
great absence of information with regard to marketing conditions 
in India, in all provinces markets vary greatly in character and 
importance. Some are privately owned ; some are directly under the 
control of the*district board or municipality. It is only in Berar that 
the constitution of markets is regulated by special legislation and that 
the management is in the hands of elected committees. An act for 
regulation of cotton markets in the Bombay Presidency has recently 
been passed but has not yet come into operation. 

In all provinces we received complaints of the disabilities under which 
the cultivator labours in selling his produce in markets as at present 
organised. It would be unfair to ascribe these entirely to the middleman. 
It must be recognised that the middleman fulfils essential functions 
and that it is not possible to dispense with him. That abuses exist and 
that some of these can be remedied or removed is, however, beyond 

The most hopeful solution of the cultivator's marketing difficulties 
seems to lie in the improvement of communications and the establish- 
ment of regulated markets, and we recommend for the consideration 
of other provinces the establishment of regulated markets on the 
Berar system as modified by the Bombay legislation. The establishment 
of regulated markets must form an essential part of any ordered plan 
of agricultural development in this country. The Bombay Act is, 
however, definitely limited to cotton markets and the bulk of the 
transactions in Berar markets is also in that crop. We consider that 
the system can conveniently be extended to other crops and, with a 
view to avoiding difficulties, would suggest that regulated markets should 
only be established under provincial legislation. Local governments 
should also take the initiative and such markets should immediately be 
established in a few principal centres. Only in this way will public 
opinion be educated to realise the advantages of markets of this 
character and a demand for them be created. The relationship of a 
regulated market to the council of any municipality or to the local board 
in the area in which the market is being established will require careful 
consideration in drafting legislation. 

We consider that the management of these markets should be 
vested in a market committee. This committee should contain 
adequate representation of the actual cultivators in the areas served 
by the market and, if their interests are not adequately safeguarded, 
an official of the agricultural department might well be nominated to the 
comnattee to protect them. It is undesirable that any licensed broker 
should be eligible for election to the committee as a representative of 
the cultivator. Provision should be made for the representation on the 
committee of co-operative societies in the area served by the market. 
The addition to the committee of nominated members should not 
be allowed to reduce the actual trade representatives below a certain 
limit. The committee should elect its own chairman. Details of the 

Abridged Report 45 

working of this committee must be left to local decision, but we would 
suggest that in order to prevent fraudulent weighment, they should 
instal a weighbridge in the market with suitable arrangements for its use, 
and that machinery should be provided for settlement of disputes which 
arise. For this purpose a board of arbitration consisting of three 
members, one nominated by the buyer, one by the seller and a third who 
would be chairman, selected by both the parties from the market 
committee, would seem to be the most satisfactory arrangement. Market 
committees should charge themselves with the duty of posting prices, 
ruling in the market centres of the tract and at the ports, for the products 
dealt with in the market. They would frame rules for the control of 
brokers, especially for preventing them from acting for both buyer 
and seller, and might provide limited storage accommodation in the 

A question which has for long engaged attention is the standardisation 
of weights and measures. These vary most extraordinarily throughout 
the country and, in some provinces, almost from village to village. 
Although a committee to investigate this subject was appointed by the 
Government of India in 1913, no action has yet been taken on its recom- 
mendations. We consider the matter of such importance that we would 
recommend that the Government of India should again undertake an 
investigation into the possibility of standardising weights and measures 
throughout India and should lay down general principles to which pro- 
vincial governments should adhere so far as this is possible without undue 
interference with local trade custom. A Bill to provide standards of 
weights and measures for use in Burma has been introduced in the local 
Legislative Council. A feature of the Bill is the power which is taken to 
recover from the villagers the cost of equipping village committees with 
standard weights and measures by the imposition of a tax or a cess on 
lands assessed to land revenue. It is explained that the reason for this 
provision is that the total expenditure involved in a free supply at the 
cost of Government would be considerable ; and that the share of each 
village, if the cost is distributed over all villages, will be very small and 
its collection will do more than anything else to advertise the fact that 
standard weights and measures have been provided. 

Much of the Indian produce exported to foreign markets would 
appear to be marketed in an unsatisfactory condition though matters have 
considerably improved within recent years. In England, we were 
informed that cotton is badly mixed, that jute is badly retted and graded 
and suffers from excessive moisture, that Indian hemp is very irregular 
in quality, badly mixed and contains an excessive proportion of dust 
and dirt. On the other hand the report on Indian oil-seeds, with the 
exception of groundnuts which frequently suffer from excessive moisture, 
was satisfactory. Opinion on the quality of Indian wheat was divided ; 
in view of the possible expansion of the crop in Sind and in the Punjab 
as a consequence of the Sukkur Barrage and the Sutlej Valley project, 
we think that the possibilities of developing an export trade in high class 
strong wheats should be borne in mind. The buyer is the ultimate judge 
of the quality to which he gives a value by an increased or decreased 

46 Abridged Report 

price. Organisation amongst the ultimate buyers can, in some 
instances, be an effective weapon in securing improved quality but it is 
difficult except in such a case as that of wheat in which the greater part 
of the exports from India go to one country. Effective measures to 
secure improved quality must, therefore, in the main be applied by the 
agricultural and co-operative departments who must keep in close touch 
with trade requirements so that the cultivator may get the benefit of 
his better cultivation and better methods of preparation. Organised 
trade associations such as the East India Cotton Association who are in 
a position to lay down grades and standards can give great assistance. 
Co-operative sale societies should be encouraged as these furnish the 
best means of enabling the cultivator to secure an adequate premium 
for produce of superior quality. The agricultural departments can 
.substantially assist the co-operative sales societies by grading their 
produce. Auction sales by agricultural departments provide a useful 
means of securing to the cultivator in the early stages an adequate 
premium for the superior quality of a new variety grown under their 
supervision. Such auctions should, however, be only continued until 
they can be taken over by co-operative societies or suitable private 

Wo do not consider that further investigation is called for into the 
possibilities of grain elevators. An elevator system would have to be 
financed by Government and the advantages to the cultivator appear 
altogether too problematical to justify this. 

The marketing of his produce is such an important matter from a 
cultivator's point of view that we consider that an expert marketing 
officer should be appointed to the staff of the agricultural departments in 
all the major provinces. One of his first duties will be to organise market 
surveys. There is a great lack oFexact information on the subject and 
this must be obtained and studied before Government can work out a 
scheme to assist the cultivator in his marketing operations. 

One of the specific duties of the marketing officer will be to examine 
the working of the regulated markets, and to make recommendations 
for their improvement where necessary. He would advise the market 
committees on any points that may be referred to him. 

In view of the growing importance of Indian agricultural products 
in Europe, we consider that the Indian Trade Commissioner in London 
should be given the assistance of an officer with experience of agriculture 
and co-operation in India. The main duties of this officer would be to 
keep in touch with all aspects of the trade in Indian agricultural products 
at the European end and with all developments of co-operation in 
Europe. An officer of similar standing and experience should be 
attached to the staff of the Director General cf Commercial Intelligence 
in Calcutta, who would pass on to the departments concerned informa- 
tion which he receives from his colleague in Europe, in a manner which 
would enable them to utilise it to the best advantage. Ultimately, as 
Indian trade grows, it may be necessary t appoint separate Trade 
Cominjsvsioners in other countries. 

Abridged Report 47 


As in every other country, the cultivator in India needs, from time 
to time, some source of capital either for carrying 
F ou * P 0101 * 11611 * improvements, for the purchase of 
more expensive implements or for current 
reqiorements. The greater proportion of the funds required for these 
purposes is provided by local moneylenders, who, however, make 
no distinction between capital required to finance an industry and 
the money needed for ordinary household expenditure. Government 
also give loans for agricultural purposes under the Land Improvement 
Loans Act, 1883, and the Agriculturists' Loans Act of 1884. It has, 
however, never been the policy of the State to impose restrictions 
on the financing of agricultural operations by private individuals. 
Such restrictions as have been imposed have all been devised to 
deal with agricultural indebtedness and to check the activities of the 
usurious moneylender. 

Mortgage of agricultural land is the most common method of 
arranging long-term credit and the total sum advanced upon this form 
of security must now be very large. Mortgage credit is rarely used to 
finance improvements in agricultural land. It is resorted to when the 
unsecured debt becomes larger th$n the lender considers safe and, in 
times of distress, for ordinary agricultural needs. In some provinces, 
legislation has laid emphasis on automatic extinction in certain cases 
within a limited period. The evidence given before us inclines to the 
view, in which we agree, that no usufructuary mortgage of agricultural 
land should be permitted by law unless provision is made for automatic 
redemption within a fixed period of years of which twenty should be the 
maximum. The risk of collusive evasion must be recognised but 
education and the development of character are the only specifics 
against both the wiles of the lender and the recklessness of the borrower. 
Another point in connection with mortgages is the reluctance of the 
mortgagees to accept redemption. The Usurious Loans Act was 
amended in 1926 to enable a mortgagor to take advantage of its provisions 
when suing for redemption. The Punjab Alienation of Land Act of 
1900 and the Punjab Redemption of Mortgages Act of 1913 give certain 
powers to deal with the question. The operation of the latter Act is 
restricted to mortgages, the principal sum secured under which 
does not exceed Us. 1,000, or to mortgages of land not exceeding thirty 
acres. These restrictions might perhaps be removed. We commend 
to local governments the consideration of legislation on the lines of the 
Punjab Acts in regard to the redemption of mortgages. 

Various enactments have from time to time been passed by 
different local governments to deal with transfer by sale or mortgage 
of agricultural land to non-agriculturists. The best known of these are 
the Punjab Land Alienation Act and the Bundelkhand Land 
Alienation Act. The Bombay Land Revenue Code lays down rules 
with a similar object. The desirability of extending the principle 

48 Abridged Report 

of statutory restriction on the alienation of land to districts or pro- 
vinces other than those in which it is now operative is one which, 
in our view, can only be measured in the light of local conditions 
including the state of mortgage debt amongst cultivators, the extent 
to which land is actually passing from agricultural to non-agricul- 
tural classes, and the feasibility of defining with reasonable precision 
those agricultural tribes or classes whose interests it is sought 
to protect. 

The business of joint stock banks, so far as it relates to the advancing 
of loans on the security of agricultural land, is usually confined to the 
larger landholders, the planting community and others who possess 
tangible marketable security. Outside these narrow limits, its effect 
on agricultural operations is not appreciable. Schemes for wholesale 
redemption of debt by private banks with the help of government funds 
have been put forward from time to time. The history of the 
Agricultural Bank of Egypt is, however, an instructive warning 
to those who hold that problems of rural debt are to be solved 
by the provision of cheap and abundant credit. In fact, cheap credit 
is a blessing to a rural population only where the average cultivator is 
possessed of the knowledge and strength of character required to induce 
him, on the one hand, to limit his borrowing within the range of hi& 
capacity to repay, and, on the othgr, to apply the greater part of the 
borrowed money to sound productive purposes. 

As a general rule, it may be said that the larger landlords do 
not take that interest in the development of their estates which 
might bo expected. In some cases, tenure or tenancy laws are an 
obstacle. We would suggest that, whore existing systems of tenure or 
tenancy laws operate in such a way as to deter landlords who are willing to 
do so from investing capital in the improvement of their land, the subject 
should receive careful consideration with a view to the enactment of 
such amendments as may be calculated to remove the difficulties. The 
establishment of '' home farms " run on model lines is to be commended 
and, where tenure difficulties arise, action to permit of the establishment 
of such farms appears especially necessary. 

The Land Improvement Loans Act has on the whole worked well, 
but it is doubtful if its provisions are as widely known as they should be. 
Complaints of delay in dealing with applications are numerous, but 
reflection will show that in most cases some delay is inevitable if the 
enquiries preliminary to the grant of a loan are to be carefully carried out. 
Greater elasticity in the rules would increase the temptation to unwise 
borrowing, while careful scrutiny of the security offered, supervision 
to ensure that the loan is actually expended on the improvement for 
which it is granted, and insistence on regular recoveries are all necessary 
in the interest of the borrower himself. When land mortgage banks are 
firmly established, part of the allotments under this Act might be placed 
at their disposal provided that steps are taken to ensure utilisation on 
objects which fall within the scope of the Act. 

Abridged Report 49 

With the limitations referred to in the case of the Land Improvement 
Loans Act, the Agriculturists Loans Act has also on the whole worked 
well. The grant of loans is restricted to the owners and occupiers of 
arable land and the purposes of the loans to the relief of distress, the 
purchase of seed or cattle and any other purpose not specified in the 
Land Improvement Loans Act but connected with agricultural objects. 
Since the Act came into force, it has proved of immense value in times 
of distress, whether arising from drought, floods, epidemics or earth- 
quakes and is a potent weapon in the hands of any local government 
called upon to deal with a sudden emergency which requires the 
immediate issue of capital for current needs. The rules have repeatedly 
come under revision and are now as elastic as the interests of both 
borrower and lender permit. We are of opinion that this Act must 
remain on the Statute Book until the spread of thrift or of co-operative 
credit or of both renders it obsolete. 

Knowledge of rural indebtedness and its causes has steadily 
increased as the subject has again and ngain crme under review. The 
general expansion of the credit of the land holder, his illiteracy, and 
the temptation he has to relievo present necessities by mortgagirg his 
future income and even hib capital, have, on the ore hand, led to increase 
in indebtedness, while, on the other the position of the moneylender 
"has been strengthened by the rapid development of commerce and 
trade, the introduction of established law and permanent civil courts, 
and the enactment of such measures as the Contract Act. The annual 
reports on co-operation have contributed much information of value 
on the subject of indebtedness and village surveys in different provinces 
have thrown light on the details, whilst Mr. Darlings book on " The 
Punjab Peasant in Prosperity and Debt " is a valuable study of the 
subject. The conclusions drawn in this book apply to an area far 
beyond the confines of a single province. 

Legislative measures designed to deal with the problem of indebted 
ness have proved a comparative failure. Evidence was received 
in one province that the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code 
exempting the cattle, implements and produce of agriculturists 
from sale may be ignored. The Kamiauti Agreements Act in 
Bihar and Orissa has been found ineffective. The provisions 
of the Deccan Agriculturists Belief Act are being evaded and the 
Usurious Loans Act is practically a dead letter in every province in 
India. We consider that an enquiry into the causes of the failure to 
utilise the last-named Act should be made in all provinces. If its 
provisions were fully utilised, this would go far to remove the worst 
evils of uncontrolled usury. Other Acts worthy of the consideration 
of local governments are the Punjab Moneylenders Bill ard the British 
Moneylenders Act of 1927 while the case for a simple Rural Insolvency 
Act should also be examined. 

We have no hesitation in recording our belief that the greatest 
hope for the salvation of the rural masses from their crushing burden 
MO \ 3924 

50 Abridged Report 

of debt rests in the growth and spread of a healthy apd well -organised 
co-operative movement base<L upon the careful education ard syste- 
matic training oljbt^^ Apart altogether frc m the 
question ot debt, co-operative credit provides the only sat isf act cry 
means of financing agriculture on sound lines. Thrift must be encouirged 
by every legitimate means, for the savings resultirg from the thrift of 
the cultivating classes form the best basis of the capital they require. 
If the rural community is to be contented, happy and prosperous, kcal 
governments must regard the co-operative movement as deserving all 
the encouragement which it lies within their powers to give. 

Abridged Report 51 


No subject allied to agriculture is more frequently referred to in 
the course of our Report than co-operation. Like 

CHAPTER XIU OF irrigation, it has been dealt with by a special 
THB MAa RBPORT. Committee, that presided over by Sir Edward 
Maclagan, which reported in 1915. The report of that Committee 
contains an authoritative series of recommendations which have formed 
a guide for provincial policy in the direction of the movement. It dealt 
chiefly with credit societies which still form the main line of activity of 
the movement. 

Historically, the co-operative movement may be said to have originated 
with the recommendations of the Indian Famine Commission of 1901. 
Prior to that date, an exhaustive study of the system had been made 
by Sir Frederick Nicholson on behalf of the Madras Government and 
his reports were published in 1895-97. A few societies, which at that 
time could only be registered under the ordinary company law, had been 
started in the United Provinces and the Punjab, but the movement 
only really began to function with the passing of the first Co-operative 
Societies Act of 1904. The operation of this Act was strictly limited to 
credit. It was passed, not as the outcome of a popular demand, but was 
essentially the act of a Government anxious to ameliorate the condition 
of the people, and, to give it effect, a government department had to 
be established. In 1912, a second Act was passed and is still in force 
throughout India (except in Bombay and Burma which have their own 
Acts). This permitted the extension of the movement to non-credit 
activities. But credit societies still hold the field as is natural where 
rural indebtedness is so general, and they have this further important 
advantage that a good credit society has an excellent educative value 
and is the best foundation for more ambitious schemes. The rural 
credit society is, in point of fact, the chief corner-stone of the whole 

The progress of the movement is indicated by the fact that, in 
1926-27, there were in British India some 67,000 agricultural primary 
societies with over two anrl a quarter million members and with a total 
working capital of nearly 25 crores of rupees. The main results achieved 
may be said to be the provision of a large amount of capital at 
reasonable rate of interest, and the organisation of a system of rural 
credit which, carefully fostered, may relieve the cultivator from the 
burden of usury. 

Success in co-operation cannot, however, be gauged by figures 
and our enquiries have shown that progress has not been uniform in all 
provinces, and that increase in numbers has not always been accom- 
panied by improvement in quality. The reasons for this would appear 
to be that, while societies have been registered freely, there has been a 
lack of patient and persistent education of the members in the principles 
and meaning of co-operation by teachers competent to perform their 
task efficiently under adequate supervision. Further there is evidence 
MO Y 392 4a 

52 Abridged Report 

that supervision and guidance have been withdrawn too soon. Members* 
of co-operative bodies have not been adequately trained to assume the 
responsibilities thrown upon them ; a natural restiveness under control 
has found expression in resentment against what has appeared to be 
undue official interference and transactions have been embarked upon 
which have led to disaster. 

Within recent years, a largo number of honorary workers have 
interested themselves in co-operation, and their contribution to the 
success of the movement has been great. But it stands to reason that 
these honorary workers, most of whom have other professional or private 
interests, cannot devote the amount of time necessary for detailed 
instruction or supeivisicn of societies. To the failure to recognise the 
limitations inherent in the system of utilising honorary workers must be 
largely attributed the very serious defects in the movement which have 
been brought to our notice. AVe consider that there is full scope for both 
the honoiary workers and the official staff, and the time lias not yet come 
when the official stall can be eliminated or even reduced. \Ve, therefore, 
strongly recommend that every effort should be. made to build up a 
highly efficient and well t rained official staff in all provinces. Their duty 
will be to educate the members up to the, point at which they will be 
competent themselves to undertake the duties of the official .staff and 
so to dispense with their sei vices. It will be for them to strengthen 
the hands of the honorary workers by furnishing skilled advice and 
guidance in the more difficult problems and to supervise the work of 
unions and federations engaged in the management and control of the 
movement. They should also devise new schemes to facilitate the 
\N ork of other departments, to prepai e the ground for theii special propa- 
ganda and to organise the people to receive and adopt expert advice. 

As the oflicial head of the movement, the personality of the Regis- 
trar is a matter of the greatest importance. The post, requites such 
special qualifications that we would recommend that local governments 
should select the very best man available. Admiiiistiatixe experience 
and knowledge of the people and their economic conditions and ability 
to enlist the co operation o1 honorary winkers are essential qualifications. 
It is most important that the Registrar should not be constantly changed. 
\V 7 e consider that the minimum period of tenure of this appointment 
should be not less than live years and the maximum not more than 
ten years. The promotion in the regular line of an officer appointed 
to the post of Registrar should not be affected and we consider that he 
should retain his appointment as Registrar with the emoluments of the 
position of a higher grade in the service if he has reached the stage of 
promotion. It is most important also that a Registrar should always 
have one or more officers under training to act for him when on leave 
and ultimately to succeed him. Every opportunity should be given to 
registrars anil the officers of the department to study the co-operative 
movement in Europe or elsewhere. 

With regard to the training of members of the government staff, 
the Punjab entrusts this duty to three educational inspectors .who give 

Abridged Report 53 

a course of intensive training in rural economics to approved candidates 
for the post of inspector in the Co-operative Department and 
hold classes for training nub-inspectors. In Bombay, auditors have to 
pass an examination in co-operative accountancy conducted by the 
Government Accountancy Diploma Board. We consider that the 
question of training the staff should be taken up seriously by all 
provinces and would recommend for consideration the procedure 
followed in the Punjab and in Bombay. 

As regards the supervising agency, in some provinces supervision is 
largely undertaken by provincial unions which maintain a paid stall for 
whose education, training and efficiency they are responsible. The federa- 
tion of primary societies into special unions who organise the work of 
supervision has been tried in some provinces with vary big success. 
Provincial unions or institutes also undertake the work of propaganda and 
organisation and in other ways strengthen and stimulate the movement. 
Efforts in the direction of organising and developing such unions or 
institutes deserve every encouragement. Such unions or institutes may 
reasonably look to Government to supplement their resources with 
grants-in-aid. As a general principle, we do not think that central 
banks should undertake the work of supervision although there is no 
objection to deputing inspectors from provincial or central banks to 
examine the working of societies provided the duties of the inspectors are 
<'!'arly defined and they are strictly confined to them. 

In the early stages of the movement, Government advanced con- 
siderable sums of money as capital. This practice has now almost 
entirely ceased. We consider, however, that assistance fn-m Govern- 
ment might he given in the following ways : 

(a) by contributing towards the out-of-pocket expenses of honorary 
workers both whilst under training and whilst they are working in 
the field ; 

(/;) in assisting institutions whose object is to spread education and 
the application of co-operative principles to various objects and assist- 
ing unions in supervision ; 

(c) in promoting organisations on a co-operative basis to facilitate 
specialised forms of co-operative activity, such as the consolidation of 

'holdings, adult education, irrigation and the like ; 

(d) in the propagation of the movement in backward tracts. 

As a rule, we consider that Government should spend money rather 
on education than audit. The audit of healthy societies is not a proper 
charge on the public funds. 

Various concessions are given by provincial governments to 
co-operative societies such as exemption from income tax, from stamp 
duty and from registration fees and the provision of facilities for the 
transfer of funds at par by means of remittance transfer receipts. These 
are detailed in the main Report and we recommend that, where possible, 
all the concessions indicated should be granted by provincial 

54 Abridged Report 

governments to societies within their area. In particular, co-operative 
societies should be allowed to take full advantage of the facilities 
afforded by the district treasuries and subtreasuries for the niovement 
of money to finance agriculture. They should be given a refurd of three- 
fourthw of the commission on postal money orders, when these are 
employed for remittances between societies, and should have a " first 
charge " on the property of their members where this has been purchased 
by a loan from a society or consists of a crop grown from seed obtained 
by such a loan. 

The question of land mortgage banks has come into prominence 
within recent years. It has become apparent that villrge credit 
societies are not suitable agencies for the grant of long-term loan* 
arid that this class of business should not be mixed up with the short- 
term credit which it is the function of the village society to provide. The 
Conference of Registrars held at Bombay in January, 1926, considered 
the question and decided that land mortgage banks could, and should ^ 
bo established under tho provisions of the existing Co-operative Acts. 
Wo endorse the resolution passed on the subject at the Cenfererce. 
Tho Arts already provide for land mortgage credit and we consider that,, 
for the present, they should be utilised for tho formation of land mort- 
gage banks, and that no special legislation is required to establish such 
bunks. With regard to assistance by Government to land mortgage 
banks, wo do not recommend that Government should subscribe to 
debentures but we consider that a guarantee of interest on the debentures 
would bo a suitable form of assistance. We consider also that the issue 
of debentures of land mortgage banks should he controlled b\ a cen 4 ral 
organisation, otherwise the position will arise of a number of small 
institutions flooding tho market with competing issues. Land mortgage 
banks would be a suitable agency for distribution of loans undei the 
Land Improvement Loans Act, and their debentures should be added 
to tho list of trustee securities. We would emphasise the impoitance 
of a most careful preliminary enquiry be! ore a land mortgage bank ia 
floated and would insist on efficient management as essential. f lhe 
simpler the constitution of such banks, the better they are likely to 

So far little progress has been made with non-credit societies as 
compared with credit societies. This is natural as advance in other 
directions is difficult until the burden of rural debt has been definitely 
lifted irom tho shoulders of the cultivator. Purchase and sale societies, 
seed societies, cattle insurance societies and other forms of non-credit 
activity have been attempted with varying success, but it cannot be 
claimed that any substantial advance has generally been made in any of 
these directions. If such societies are to be successful, bu&iress raarr ge- 
ment is required and it is not easy to fird the capacity for this f mrrgst 
their members. As a matter of principle, the single purpose society 
seems the best line of development. " One thing at a time " should 
be the policy. 

Abridged Report 65 

Throughout our Report, we refer to the importance of co operative 
societies in connection with other activities and, in particular, in their 
relation to agricultural improvement, to education, to irrigation and in 
fact to anything which affects the cultivator. The function of the 
Co-roperative Department, apart from the provision of credit, is to 
prepare the ground for the advice of the various experts employed by 
Government in its several departments. Naturally these departments 
can work best through co-operatively organised bodies of cultivators 
rather than through isolated individuals. The co-operative society 
should be the unit through which the various departments of Govern- 
ment concerned with rural welfare carry on their activities. As examples 
of the successful organisation of non-credit societies may be mentioned 
the Better Fannirg societies in the Purjab, the sale societies in B< mbay 
and the Purjab, and the irrigation societies in Bcrgal. The durability 
of appointing a special officer of the grade of deputy director of 
agriculture to work under the Registrar deserves to be examined in all 
provinces. As regards ihe appointment of specialist officers from other 
technical departments, much will depend on the stage of development 
and the particular form of co-operative activity which it is desired 
to foster. 

56 Abridged Report 


Economic changes are occurring rapidly in India. The develop- 
ment of communications and the .consequent 
F quickening and cheapening of travelling 

* .,, . v _ . . _ ... . i . i 

facilities are bringing the villages into closer touch 
with urban centres. This tends to break down the isolation and self- 
sufficing economy of the village. Contact with the towns introduces 
new ideas and a desire for better conditions of living. 

The close relations between agriculture and public health are 
obvious and they react upon each other to a remarkable degree. There 
is no direction in which the rural community needs help more than in 
the provision of medical facilities and public health amenities. Economic 
wastage due to disease cannot be over-exaggerated. Malaria slays its 
thousands and lowers the economic efficiency of hundreds of thousands ; 
plague and cholera sweep the country from time to time ; hookworm 
disease, kala-azar and diseases arising from diet deficiency insidiously 
reduce the labour power of the cultivating classes. Any enquiry, there- 
fore, into the general condition of agriculture and the position of the 
cultivator must take account of the public health aspect of his life ; 
of the suitability of his diet ; of the sanitary conditions under which 
he lives and of his general rural environment. In order that, as a result 
of the " better farming " to \\hich we hope our proposals will lead, the 
cultivator may have that " betcer living " which should follow from it, 
it is necessary to take stock of existing conditions and consider what 
steps are necessary to improve them, These conditions in the rural 
areas are certainly bad. Sanitation, in any accepted sense of the word, is 
practically non-existent. The public latrine is too often the river bank 
or the margin of a tank. This predisposes to hookworm infestation 
and to the spread of all diseases incidental to a polluted water supply. 
The use of the open field, though not in all cases so objectionable, requires 
that the catchment areas of tanks and streams should be protected from 
pollution. Unprotected wells and tanks ; unswept village streets ; 
close pent windows excluding all ventilation in such conditions does 
the average villager live and yet observes a remarkably high standard 
of personal cleanliness and tidiness. The tiagedy is that such a state of 
affairs should exist when, with corporate action on the part of the villagers, 
the evils would be so easily remediable. A common determination to 
protect wells, to keep villages cleaja and to avoid as far as possible the 
pollution of rivers would undoubtedly lead to an enormous improvement 
of the public health. 

To deal successfully with this state of affairs imposes duties both on 
Government and on the people. It is the duty of Government to inves- 
tigate basic medical problems and to enunciate and direct sound prin- 
ciples of public health administration. It is the duty of the people to co- 
operate in giving effect to such recommendations, and generally to assist 
in improving rural conditions. Much is being done by government and 
private agency and the general economic trend of events is conducive 
to, and suggests the possibility of, a rapid improvement in rural 

Abridged Report 57 

conditions at BO distant date. The matter largely rests with the people 

Government discharges its duties through its public health and 
medical departments. The concern of the provincial public health 
departments is the establishment throughout each province of such pre- 
cautionary conditions as render the incidence or spread of disease less 
likely. In recent years, there has been a great forward movement in 
this direction and questions of improved water supply and sanitary and 
-conservancy arrangements have received an increasing amount of 
Attention. The most highly developed provincial department is that of 
Madras which has a district health scheme with 26 health officers and 
261 health inspectors. 

On the medical side, the greater part of the research undertaken by 
the central Government is carried out by officers working under the 
Indian Research Fund Association. The objects of this Association are 
the promotion and assistance of research, the propagation of knowledge 
and experimental measiires generally in connection with the causation, 
mode of spread and prevention of diseases, primarily of a commu- 
nicable nature. Much research work has been done under the auspices 
of this Association in connection with such diseases as cholera, plague, 
malaria, kala-azar and in the investigation of problems of diet 

Iti the Bombay presidency, a village medical aid scheme has been 
devised under which rural schoolmasters are trained to deal with minor 
ailments and to administer first aid. In some provinces, schemes 
have been adopted under which private practitioners are given subsidies 
to induce them to settle in rural areas. Various schemes have also been 
evolved for the training of village midwives and nurses. Schemes of 
this nature have great potentialities and should be given all possible 
encouragement. Some local governments are already making annual 
grants to local authorities for the improvement of the potable water 
supplies. We consider such improvement a matter of paramount 
importance and in view of the heavy cost of water borne epidemics, we 
suggest that ail governments may well regard expenditure on this object 
as constituting a sound policy of insurance. 

In the course of our tour, we have been much impressed by the 
great awakening of non-official interest in the health and welfare of the 
country-side. It is from this manifestation of public interest that we 
derive our greatest encouragement and hope. This awakening is 
general and not confined to any particular province. As typical 
examples of such efforts, we would mention the Poona Seva Sadan 
S>ciety, the Co-operative Anti-Malaria Society in Bengal, and the rural 
reconstruction work of the Y. M. C. A. in southern India. 

Of all the diseases of India, malaria is the most widespread and its effects 
on the efficiency of the rural community are disastrous. The principal 
prophylactic in the treatment of this disease is quinine and cinchona 
febrifuges and not the least of Government's responsibilities in the control 
of malaria is connected with its policy in regard to the manufacture of this 

68 Abridged Report 

drug. At present, all the cinchona plantations with one exception and 
the factories for the manufacture of quinine are owned by the provincial 
governments of Bengal and Madras. If the question of malaria is to be 
seriously tackled, we are strongly of opinion that the development ot 
cinchona cultivation in all provinces which contain areas suitable for its 
growth, the manufacture of quinine and the control of its distribution, so 
far as price within India is concerned, should be taken over by the Govern- 
ment of India. In view of the all-India importance of the question it is 
not one which should be left to local governments, however efficiectly 
they may in the past have carried out their obligations in the matter. 
In view of the great importance of extending cinchona cultivation and 
cheapening quinine, we consider that much more scientific investigation 
is called for than has been undertaken in the past. 

In concluding our remarks on public health we desire to emphasise 
the urgency of the need for developing the rural medical and public health 
services to the utmost possible extent and with the utmost speed. 

The problems of human nutrition, which have only recently come 
into prominence are being investigated by Colonel MtCarnson ^Lo is 
working under the Research Fund Association at COOLOOT. He lays 
emphasis on malnutrition as a problem facing those engaged in agricul- 
tural research. In his enquiries, Colonel Me Garrison ii.vtlts tie aid 
of the agricultural departments. The problems of human and animal 
nutrition are likely to assume such importance that we consider it 
desirable that work on human nutrition and on the nutrition of 
faro* animals should be carried out in the closest co-operation, or, in 
other words, that there should be team work by workers with a knowledge 
of different branches of the science of nutrition. Continuity is also 
essential. The various workers on nutrition problems should be formed 
into a Committee on Nutrition which would meet at regular intervals 
to discuss common questions. This would assure the requisite close 
touch between workers in different branches of the subject. In 
view of the importance of the subject, we recommend that a Central 
Institute of Human Nutrition should be established. Although it 
is not necessary that both branches of nutrition work human and 
animalshould be carried out in the same building, it is desirable, in 
order to secure the closest possible connection between the research 
workers in both these branches, that the respective institutes should, if 
possible, be at no great distance from each other. 

In connection with diet, we are much impressed by the possibilities 
of a development of the fish industry in India and would commend this 
matter to the attention of local governments. 

So far we have dealt mainly with what may be called the health aspects 
of the cultivator's life. We now propose to consider what help can be 
given to the villagers to enable them both to adjust themselves to charg- 
ing conditions and to reap the fullest ad vantages from the various tech- 
nical services with which they are now coming increasirgly into contact. 

Throughout our investigat : on, we have constantly been impressed 
with the thought that mere material improvement alone will .not bring 

Abridged Report 

tasting benefit to the agricultural population. Increase in yield by 
better seed and better cultivation ; security of the harvests gained by 
the expansion of irrigation ; immunity from losses due to pests or pet>ti- 
lence : higher prices from improved communications and conditions 
of marketing : everything, in short, which we have advocated lor the 
material advancement of the people will merely postpone the effects 
of the growing pressure of the population on the soil. No lasting, 
improvement in the standard of living of the great mass of the popula- 
tion can possibly be attained if every enhancement in the purchasing 
power of the cultivator is to be followed by a proportionate increase 
in the population. 

In this Report, we have in their proper places stressed the importance 
of primary education, adult education and that more special form, the 
education in the economics of daily life, provided in seme provinces 
through the agency of the co-operative staffs. We must now turn 
to other means calculated to stimulate the desire for better hvirg. We- 
are strongly of opinion that guidance here is far more called for than 
anything in the nature of what, for want of a better term, we shall* 
call charitable assistance. What is required is to increase in desirable 
directions the number of the villager's wants and to show him how 
to satisfy them by his own efforts. We trust that the whole weight 
of those to whom the villager looks for guidance will be thrown into- 
suggestions how to improve, durirg his spare time, the amenities of 
the village. Fortunately there is a tradition of corporate action for 
mutual benefit to which to appeal. In the olden days, tanks were dug 
or cleaned out, wells sunk and roads made or repaired in this way. 
Although this good custom has largely fallen into disrepute, we 
think that, if its advantages were brought hcme to thevilkger, a 
voluntary revival of it for these and other purposes such as the provision 
of a good supply of drinking water, drainage and street improvement 
should be possible. If revival is not possible, hope of radically improvirg; 
the amenities of the village must be abandoned. The cultivator himself 
is not well enough off to pay for hired labour and it is certain that neither 
the local bodies nor the provincial governments can provide either the 
men or the finance for carrying out such undertakirgs. 

It cannot, however, be reasonably expected of the cultivator that 
he should, unaided, revive this ancient custom of corporate action arcU 
utilise it for the improvement of the village ard its sumurdhgs. 
He lacks leadership, and the difficulty is to suggest the leader. The 
educated man is not willirg to live his life in a village except in a 
few cases where ideals of social service overcome the abserce of 
amenities. The system of village guides devised by Mr. Brayne, I.C.S., 
in the Gurgaon district of the Punjab seems worthy of consideration. 
Young men are given a special course of training which, in addition to 
imbuing them with a sense of the dignity of corporate labour for the 
mutual benefit, is designed to familiarise them with the prirciples of 
sanitation, elementary medical ad, co-operation, an degr cultural improve- 
ment, and to give them some* knowledge of the simpler home industries 
in order* that each man may, when his training is completed, act as- 

60 Abridged Report 

" guide, philosopher and friend " to the group of villages to which he 
is posted. In technical matters, his knowledge is meant to enable him 
to direct the villagers where to go for advice rather than to give that 
advice himself. This system of village guides is part of an organisation 
in the Gurgaon district which has as its aim the general uplift of the 
rural community. The scheme embraces the work of every department 
of Government engaged in rural areas ; it seeks to assist in securing 
the adoption of the advice of the expert by a well-planned propaganda 
campaign ; it depends for its success on the enlistment in the cause of 
every one willing and able to assist, official or non-official, and more 
especially of the people themselves whose welfare is in the balance. 
Lecture song, drama, magic lantern, cinema, and even the loud speaker 
are made to contribute what they can to arouse the people to a reali- 
sation that they themselves are largely responsible for their own undesir- 
able condition. The attention of the villagers is thus attracted. Side 
by side with the propaganda campaign, there are provided facilities 
for those who wish to try the advice so tendered. Good seed, selected 
bulls, ploughs, well-gear, quinine, inoculation, and so on, are readily 
available. Co-operative societies, adult schools, domestic economy 
classes and every other means calculated to assist the spirit of service 
and self-help are at hand. Everything useful is brought within easy 
reach of those who need it, The chief value of this scheme, in our eyes, 
is its illustration of the great benefit which accrues from an all round 
effort at village improvement by everyone interested. 

Next to making some one individual resident in the village itself 
responsible for advising the villagers, where to go for advice and how 
best to utilise their own skill and resources in improving the amenities 
of the village in their spare time, we attach most importance to linking 
the villages with the social life of the town. We consider that this 
can best be effected by social workers organised in societies like the Seva 
Sadan Society of Poona. Such organisation facilitates continuity of 
policy and steady pressure over a long period, both of which are required 
if permanent results are to be obtained. The universities also have an 
obligation and a great opportunity to assist in the work of rural develop- 
ment both on the economic and educational side. In particular, they 
might institute and organise economic surveys. In the Punjab, there is a 
Board of Economic Enquiry which is a non-official body consisting of 
officials and non-officials interested in economic studies. The establish- 
ment of such a Board in other provinces would give university students 
of economics ample opportunities for socio-economic enquiries under 
capable direction. 

We would also refer to the Punjab Central Rural Community 
Board. The personnel of this Board is largely official but it is linked 
with a rural community council, set up in each district of the province and 
predominantly non-official. Each council is assisted in its work by 
the attendance of representatives of the various departments concerned 
with rural development, namely, educatiotuSj, agricultural, veterinary 
and co-operative officers. The intention is thjrt each, district 

Abridged Report 61 

community council should co-ordinate the propaganda work of all these- 
development departments. 

Sufficient experience has not been gained to pass an opinion on the 
practical efficiency of these councils. We are not, therefore, in a 
position to say to what extent this organisation may be suited to 
the needs of other provinces. The scheme certainly combines the advan- 
tages of both the official and the private type of organisation. This 
experiment deserves, therefore, the close attention and consideration of 
workers in other provinces. In our opinion, the movement will gain iu 
power for good if it develops a women's side to its activities. The es^ab- 
lislinxent of a women's institute in a village would supply a centre 
for educational and co-operative activities as well as for mother and 
infant welfare work and might remove the present obstacles to the 
employment of women teachers in village schools. 

Local public opinion in favour of particular measures can also be 
organised by the formation of co-operative Better Living societies. 
The possibility of facilitating the settlement of village disputes by local 
arbitration organised on a co-operative basis also calls for careful consi- 
sideration. There is a general awakening of public interest in the 
depressed classes. The most efficient means of effecting any improve- 
ment in their condition lies, in our opinion, in education and the 
consequent inculcation of self-respect and self-help. In no field of rural 
work have private organisations a greater opportunity for usefulness. 

<62 Abridged Report 


No enquiry into the rural economy of India with a view to the 

CHAPTMB xv or promotion of the welfare and prosperity of the rural 
THI MAIH REPORT, classes would be complete without a careful surrey 
of the existing systems of education, their suitability to village conditions 
and their influence. 

Education is a transferred subject. For administrative purposes, 
educational institutions are divided into two class**, those recognised 
by the departments of education and those which are not so recognised 
and are, therefore, not inspected by government agency. Over British 
India as a whole, institutions that are recognised are six times as 
numerous as those unrecognised. Sixty-five per cent of these recognised 
institutions are privately managed, though subject to government 
inspection, and, of the remainder, thirty-three per cent are managed by 
district boards and municipal councils and two per cent are under direct 
government management. The importance of those under government 
management is out of all proportion to their number. It is unnecessary 
here to describe the legislation which governs the educational functions 
of local bodies in the different provinces. It will suffice to say that the 
most important additions to this legislation in recent years have been 
Primary Education Acts, one of the main objects of which has been to 
empower local bodies to introduce compulsory primary education in 
selected areas. 

So far as the general mass of the agricultural population is concerned, 
primary education and the attainment of literary are the main considera- 
tions. In this connection, the following statistics are of interest. In 
1921-22,* the percentage of scholars in the primary stage, in both 
recognised and unrecognised institutions, to the total population of 
school-going age (viz., 15 per cent of the total population) for the 
whole of British India was 32*2 males and 7*6 females. The percentage 
distribution of scholars, in 1925-26, in recognised institutions (no 
figures are available for non-recognised schools) was for males 87 * 1 in 
the primary stage, 8*8 in the secondary, 3*2 in special schoolsf and 0'9 
per cent in the universities. For females, the corresponding figures were 
$V2, 3*6, 1*1 and 0*1 per cent. At the census of 1921, the percentages 
of literacy for persons 20 years of age and over were 18* 3 for males 
and 1*9 for females. The percentages for males ranged from 62 per 
cent in Burma to 8- 9 in the United Provinces and for females 
from 11*8 per cent in Burma to 7 per cent in the United Provinces 
And Bihar and Orissa. 

While the proportion of children of school -going age attending 
primary schools is still disappointingly small, it is increasing with some 
rapidity. A large proportion of those who attend these schools do not, 
however, remain at them long enough to ensure their reaching the 

* Statistics are not available which could enable this information to be given for a 
later year. 

t special nohools consist of technical and industriaLtchooK normal and training 
schools, commercial, medical and reformatory schooK flphools for adults, schools for 
defectives, etc. ~TO.ff 

Abridged Report $ 

minimum standard of literacy and no definite information is available 
as to the extent to which those who reach this standard relapse into 
illiteracy. For this failure to achieve more rapid progress in primary 
education various reasons are given and we suggest directions in which 
improvements are possible. 

Our enquiries have left us firmly convinced of the great importance to 
rural development in India of the spread of literacy amongst women. 
There are indications of an awakening interest in this direction. But 
progress is slow and we would suggest the desirability of demonstrat- 
ing in striking fashion the value to the community of the education 
of its* women, particularly in its effect upon the spread of lasting literacy 
amongst the young. Steps to this end might be taken fully by recording 
the educational history and subsequent development of children of typical 
cultivating families in which the mother is literate, while like particulars 
of illiterate homes in the same neighbourhood and conditions of life should 
be tabulated for the purpose of comparison with their more fortunate 
neighbours. It is essential, however, that the families chosen should be 
of entirely rural condition and not urban. Where no literate homes 
of the cultivating classes are available, we think a definite effort should 
be made to impart literacy to a certain number of young mothers selected 
where conditions are most suitable and where no similar experiment has 
been tried before. We have little doubt that the result of this comparison 
will show a markedly stronger tendency on the part of the literate parent 
both to send the children to school and to keep them there till literacy, 
which the mother has come to value has been fairly achieved. 

We think that the trouble and expense involved in the collection 
of the necessary facts will be amply repaid if, as we anticipate, the result 
is to prov de convincing propaganda which can be used to demonstrate 
in ways that all will understand the true relation between female literacy 
and the spread of general literacy. 

We consider that, if teaching is to be efficient, the training of the 
teacher must be improved and there must be an increase in the number 
of trained teachers. If possible, female teachers should be provided for 
small children for it is the experience of all countries that they are best 
qualified for such work. Although we realise that financial consideration 
may militate against the provision of a second teacher for the small 
primary school, we consider that a minimum staff of two teachers should 
be the ideal to be aimed at. Teachers in primary schools should be 
drawn wherever possible from amongst those who are familiar with 
rural life and the text-books should deal with every day objects familiar 
to the pupil and have a rural tone. The faculty of observation should 
also be developed by occasional school walks through neighbouring 
cultivation. If the teacher happens to be a keen and well-informed 
gardener or has qualifications for teaching nature study on sound lin^s, 
he should be encoifraged to impart his knowledge to such of his pupils 
as are willing to learn. A stimulus in this direction might be given to 
the teacher by a supplei||||t to his pay. But a pretence of teaching 
agricultural methods to Ji^fp'five to ten years old, whether theoretically 

64 Abridged Report 

in the guise of nature study or practically in school gardens, should be* 

We are convinced that the progressive adoption of the compulsory 
system is the only means by which may be overcome the unwillingness 
of parents to send their children 10 school and to keep them there till 
literacy is attained. The provision of a sufficiency of trained teachers 
and of suitably equipped buildings must, of course, precede the enforce- 
ment of compulsory school attendance. Finance also imposes a 
limitation. Uniform progress cannot therefore be expected. But in 
all provinces (except Bengal where a Primary Education Bill is under 
consideration) legislative sanction efists for the introduction, at the 
discretion of local authorities, of compulsory education in rural areas. In 
all the provincial legislation on the subject, the onus of proposing the 
establishment of a compulsory area is placed on the local body concerned 
with primary education. The first essential for the spread of primary 
education is, therefore, to bring public opinion to realise that efficiency 
can only be secured by the introduction of the compulsory system. In 
the Punjab, th only province in which any measure of success in introduc - 
ing the compulsory system can be said to have been achieved, the 
co-operative movement has been brought to bear on this problem. One 
hundred and fifty -eight societies with a membership of 7,000 parents 
pledge, themselves under penalties to keep their children at school 
for four years continuously or until the completion of the fourth 

Within recent years, the question of adult education has assumed 
some prominence, notably in the Punjab and Bengal and to a lesser extent 
in Bombay. In the Punjab, the movement has in the main received its 
stimulus from the Co-operative Department. It is to co-operative 
societies and associations of public spirited individuals, interested in rural 
development, rather than to direct government agency that we must look 
for any marked advance in this direction. We consider, however, that 
there may be a case for Government assisting co-operative societies by 
a pro rata contribution from provincial revenues to the funds which a 
society has been able to raise privately. 

Immediately above the primary school comes the secondary school 
vernacular middle and Anglo-vernacular schools. The boys attending 
these schools are ordinarily from ten to fourteen years of age. The next 
stage is the high school- -the stepping stone to the intermediate colleges 
and universities. Boys attending these are from thirteen to seventeen 
years of age, In 1925-26, there were 9,867 middle and high schools 
with I,- "583,000 pupils. According to the last estimate made (1922), 
some half -a-million boys who are attending primary classes attached to 
secondary schools have, however, to be deducted from this number in 
order to arrive at the correct number of boys undergoing secondary 
education. Our concern with secondary education is te extent to which r 
and the manner in which, agricultural ediication can best be given in 
secondary schools. This subject has bejih^ much discussed. The 
divergencies of opinion in regard to it hav^&STjio t]jp evolution of two 

Abridged Report 69 

entirely different types of school ; the vocational school and the ordinary 
rural secondary school, in the curriculum of which elementary agriculture 
is included. The former type finds favour in Bombay. In the adoption 
of the other, the Punjab has led the way. 

At the Marathi Agricultural School at Loni near Poona, which is of the 
vocational type, admission is limited to fifty boys and the qualifications 
laid down for it are that the applicant must belong either to a cultivating 
or a landholding class, that he must have completed his education up to 
the fourth Marathi standard, that he must be between fourteen and 
seventeen years of age and that his object in coming to the schftol 
must be to train himself for work on his own land and not for service 
in a government department. The course lasts for two years and the 
instruction which is given in the vernacular is both theoretical and 
practical. Three hours daily are devoted to practical work on the farm 
of twenty-two acres which is attached to the school and the whole area 
of which is worked by the boys. In his second year, each boy is made 
responsible for the cultivation and cropping of an area of about one 
quarter of an acre ; he is also required to keep a diary of his daily work 
and a cultivation sheet of expenses and realisations . Two crops are raised 
during the year, one dry and one irrigated. The care of the milking herd 
and of the farm bullocks is entrusted to the boys. The school has a 
workshop in which they learn smithy and carpentry work and also an 
oil engine and power driven farm machinery which they manage. Weekly 
visits are paid to neighbouring cultivation and, during their second year, 
the boys are taken on an extensive tour throughout the presidency. It 
is important to note that, if the student remains at the school for the 
whole of the course, this education is provided free of all cost except the 
small amount which has to be deposited to meet current expenses. There 
are now six schools of this type in the Bombay Presidency but it has so 
far made little headway in other provinces. 

In the Punjab type, elementary agriculture is an optional subject 
in the curriculum of the ordinary vernacular middle schools. In the 
words of a Circular which was issued in 1923 : " the aim is to enrich the 
middle school course in rural areas by the inclusion of agricultural train- 
ing and thus to bring it more in keeping with the environment of the 
pupils ; and the object is to use agriculture as a means of mental 
discipline and training and as an important accessory to the general 
subjects taught in these schools. 

Under this system, the instruction given in the class room is both illus- 
trated and supplemented by practical work in all agricultural processes 
on the land. For this purpose, farms of about three acres in extent^were 
attached to the schools in which the new course was first introduced but, 
owing to financial stringency, the alternative of school gardens, half an 
acre to an acre in extent, was adopted in 1923. Six periods per week 
are devoted to the course by each of the four classes which make up the 
vernacular middle school in tie Punjab. All the work on the farms and 
gardens, except that of looting after the bullocks on the farms, is done by 
the boys themselveqjt^d it is interesting to note that many of the farms 
MO Y 3926 

66 Abridged Report 

and gardens are not only self-supporting but have an annual balance to 
their credit. The teaching is in the hands of trained and carefully selected 
teachers who ha ve first taken the ordinary senior vernacular training course 
and have then completed a separate course in agriculture at the Lyallpur 
Agricultural College. An additional link between the agricultural and 
educational departments is provided by the fact that the general supervi- 
sion of these activities is entrusted to an adviser in agricultural training 
who is an officer of the Education Department. His headquarters are 
at the Lyallpur Agricultural College. When we visited the Punjab, there 
were 66 schools of this type, 26 of which had farms attached to them 
and 40 gardens. It was hoped to increase the number during 1927-28 
to 121 , of which 64 would have farms and the others gardens. The Punjab 
model has been very closely followed in the United Provinces, where 
there are, or shortly will be, some twenty of these schools. In Bombay, 
there are forty-three schools known as * agricultural bias' schools of a 
very similar type. 

After the most careful consideration, we have come to the conclu- 
sion that in no scheme of rural education the cost of which is defrayed 
by Government ought schools of the Bombay type to find a place. 
There is no evidence that there is a popular demand for them. They 
appear to us to be an artificial addition to the educational system and 
in no way a natural development of it. They are very costly and lead 
nowhere. The boys who attend them receive no instruction in the 
subjects required by high school and college. It is only in exceptional 
circumstances that a parent is prepared to decide upon the future career 
of a promising boy at the early age of thirteen or fourteen. The establish- 
ment of schools of the Bombay type merely means that an agency far 
more expensive than the normal is employed to train boys destined for 
work on the land. 

We consider, on the other hand, that the Punjab type of school 
has much to recommend it. It is true that this method of imparting 
instruction in elementary agriculture in rural middle schools has not been 
in use sufficiently long to enable conclusions as to its merits to be reached. 
It may be, as we were told in Bombay, that most of the boys who pass 
through the course will prefer to become teachers or village accountants 
to farming their own land. But even if this should prove to be so, the 
value of the training in agriculture they have received will not be lost to 
the country -side and there would still remain a large residuum who would 
take up agriculture as their occupation. In the meantime, there is no 
doubt that the classes have so far proved a great success and that they 
have attained a popularity which has been denied to pchools of the 
vocational type. Although no approximation to a final solution has been 
attained, it is, in our view, in this direction that the true solution of the 
problem of relating the instruction given in middle schools in rural areas 
to their environment is to be found. Similarly with regard to agricul- 
tural teaching in high schools. Where these schools contain a large 
proportion of boys from rural areas and have facilities for the provision 
of a farm or garden, the addition to the curriculum of It combined course 

Abridged Report 8f 

of practical and theoretical instruction in elementary agriculture some- 
what on the lines of that now given in the middle schools of the Punjab 
type but of a rather more advanced character would, we believe, be 
productive of good results. 

In our observations on rural industries, we emphasise the importance 
of introducing modern processes. This introduction will be greatly 
facilitated if the various technical institutes provide instruction in applied 
science of a high standard. 

We are concerned with the universities only as regards the relation 
of agricultural colleges to them and with reference to their influenceton 
rural development. We approve of the policy of affiliating an agricul- 
tural college to a university wherever this is possible. We contemplate 
closer relations between the universities and the agricultural colleges 
in the future and, though affiliation for the purpose of obtaining a 
degree is not essential to such relations, it undoubtedly tends to 
promote them. 

From the point of view of agricultural development, we need not 
emphasise the importance of the part that the universities must play 
in educating those who will become the administrators, the technologists, 
and the research workers of the future. Here, however, we are concerned 
with the urgent need of instilling in rural communities the ideals of leader- 
ship and service, and we wish to make plain our conviction that the 
universities have it in their power to make a valuable contribution to 
this end. It is their highest mission to develop in the student that 
public spirit and zeal for the welfare of his fellows which, when he goes 
out into the world, will impel him to take a full and active part in the 
life of the community in which his lot is cast. But universities are com- 
monly situated in large centres of population, and members who are 
attracted by the call of social service naturally tend to apply themselves 
first to the problems of the town. We wish strongly to press the claim 
of the rural areas upon the time and interest of the best of India's youth. 
It is upon the homes and fields of her cultivators that the strength of the 
country and the foundations of her prosperity must ultimately rest. We 
appeal to both past and present members of Indian universities to 
apply themselves to the social and economic problems of the country- 
side, and so to fit themselves to take the lead in the movement for the 
uplift of the rural classes. We trust that the authorities and teachers 
of universities will do all in their power to encourage the study of those 
most important subjects. The opportunities open in India to men able 
and willing to play a selfless and patriotic role in the field of local leader- 
ship and of service to the public are unbounded. Membership of village 
panchayats, local boards and the like and work in connection with the 
co-operative and adult education movements as well as that carried out 
by non-official bodies concerned with the well-being and advancement of 
the rural population offer scope for the exercise of a wide range of 
talent and inclination. Such service is of the utmost value to the State, 
for the welfare and happiness of the peasant must be largely dependent on 
the purify and .efficiency with which local flervioes are 
*o y 39? 

68 Abridged. Report 

Among a people whose history goes back as far as does that of India, 
and in a society upon which the fetters of custom are so firmly bound, 
the inertia of centuries can only be overcome by the ready self- 
sacrifice, by the enthusiasm and by the sustained efforts of those who 
themselves enjoy the blessings of a liberal education. 

Higher agricultural education is provided at agricultural colleges 
established at Poona, Coimbatore, Lyallpur, Nagpur, Oawnpore and 
Mandalay. The first four are affiliated to a university. Bengal, 
Bihar and Orissa and Assam have no college. We recommend that 
agricultural colleges on the model of the existing colleges should be 
established at Dacca for Bengal and also in Bihar and Orissa. 

In general, the object of these colleges is to train students for 
employment in the agricultural and other departments or to qualify 
them to manage their own land or that of others. Up to the present the 
great majority of the qualified students have been absorbed in the 
agricultural departments. 

We regard the agricultural colleges as the apex of the whole scheme of 
agricultural education. They should make their influence felt in all 
branches of rural education and every student who enters them should 
be encouraged to realise that, given the capacity and application, his 
foot is set on the road which leads to post-graduate training and thereafter 
to the highest distinctions in the fields of science and agriculture. 

In order to obtain students better qualified to profit by training at 
the agricultural colleges, we recommend that the intermediate science 
examination of the provincial university should be prescribed as the 
qualification for admission. This will relieve the colleges of the necessity 
for arranging courses in elementary science with the principles of which 
students should be familiar before they enter them. If the intermediate 
examination in science is made the standard of admission, a three years' 
course at an agricultural college will be adequate. 

The curricula of the agricultural colleges have been drawn up on much 
the same general lines and appear to us to be suitable. We consider, 
however, that more attention should be devoted to agricultural economics 
and that teachers of the subject should be selected with great care. More 
attention should also be paid to estate management, but to give instruc- 
tion in this as part of the three years' course would involve the risk of 
overloading the curriculum and we, therefore, consider that directors of 
agriculture should make the best arrangements they can to provide 
passed students with opportunities of gaining experience in estate 
management. Such experience will be particularly useful for students 
who propose to farm their own land or that of others. Greater attention 
should also be given to agricultural economics and estate management in 
the two years' courses which are given in some of the colleges. 

We also attach the greatest importance to miscellaneous short courses 
given at colleges. Colleges should initiate^such courses and accept 
responsibility for creating a demand for them, 

Abridged Report 69 

To remove the reproach that graduates of agricultural colleges are 
frequently weak on the practical side, something more than additional 
instruction in agricultural economic* and estate management is required. 
Facilities should be provided to enable passed students to obtain further 
practical experience before commencing active work either in the public 
service or on their own lands. 

As regards the college staff, we lay great importance on the personality 
of the principal. The head of an institution which combines research 
and teaching requires special qualifications, among which administrative 
capacity and breadth of outlook are as important as high scientific 
attainments. The best man available should be selected for this post 
and once appointed he should be retained in it and compensated, if need 
be, for foregoing appointment to the Directorship of Agriculture. All 
agricultural colleges should have a whole -time principal. The teaching 
staff of the colleges should also be carefully selected. Interchange 
between the administrative and the research and teaching branches of 
the agricultural services should ordinarily be restricted in the earlier years 
of service. The field of selection for the college staff might be widened 
to admit of the appointment of distinguished science graduates of Indian 
universities. We have carefully considered the question whether the 
research activities of the agricultural colleges should be entirely divorced 
from the teaching work and, as a result, we entirely approve the system 
under which the heads of sections give instruction in their special subjects. 
There can be no doubt, in our view, that such a combination of research 
with teaching is of mutual benefit to both. 

For recruitment to the superior provincial services, post-graduate 
training, after taking a degree at an agricultural college, should be pre- 
scribed as an essential qualification. This can ordinarily be best given at 
Pusa. For the purpose of those . graduates of an agricultural college 
who elect for other branches of government service, we recommend that 
a degree or diploma in agriculture shoi Id be placed on the same level as a 
degree in arts or science as a qualification for appointments in such 
departments as the revenue, irrigation and co-operative departments. 

70 Abridged Report 


A problem of some importance is how the villager can best use his 

spare time for the improvement of his position. 

CHAWHE XVI OF Th e amount of spare time which the cultivator has 

THE MAIN RKPOBT. on hifl handg Vftrie8 g^tty according to the local 

agricultural conditions but it may be assumed, as a broad generalisa- 
tion, that a large majority of cultivators have at least frofn two to 
four months absolute leisure during the year. At the census of 1921, 
only 10J per cent of the total working population in British India was 
shown as employed in industry of one kind or another, including 
factories. Apart from the large industries concentrated in industrial 
centres, the smaller concerns such as rice mills, oil mills, cotton 
ginneries, etc., engaged only some 250,000 people which is equal to about 
' 03 per cent of the total number employed in agriculture. It will thus be 
seen that industries located in rural areas are at present unimportant 
from the point of view of their demand for labour. On the other hand, 
their multiplication within economic limits suggests one solution of 
the problem of apare-tinie employment in rural areas. 

We have received various suggestions for the establishment of 
new industries which may offer increased employment to the rural popula- 
tion. An industry which seems to offer considerable promise is the 
extension of the local manufacture of agricultural implements. The 
engineering section of the agricultural departments can give valuable 
help in promoting such a development. Students who desire to be 
trained in implement manufacture should be encouraged by stipends to 
enable them to attend engineering schools, railway workshops or the 
workshops of the agricultural departments. Similar facilities should 
be provided for the training of the more progressive village artisans, 
such as blacksmiths and carpenters, who want to keep abreast of deve- 
lopments in agricultural machinery. Amongst other industries brought 
to our notice were paper manufacture from bamboo pulp, the oil-crushing 
industry and the handloom, pottery and rope-making industries, seri- 
culture and lac. As regards sericulture, we would remark that there is 
a danger that the natural silk industry may be seriously affected by the 
increasing use of artificial silk, although at present high grade Indian 
silk meets the demand of the special luxury market. The lac industry 
appears to require organisation so as to bring together all the interests 
affected, while further research is needed to ensure a regular output of 
good quality lac. An enquiry should also be made into the economics 
of lac production. 

There are opportunities for the development of a poultry industry 
and we are glad to note that increased attention is being devoted by the 
agricultural departments in most provinces to poultry rearing and the 
work done, notably in the United Provinces, suggests that this industry 
has possibilities of expansion. 

With regard to rural industries in general, it may be said that the 
chief needs are the stimulus of new ideas and the provision of adequate 

Abridged Report 71 

instruction and advice on the commercial side. The opportunities which 
they present for improving the condition of the rural population are 
extremely limited, and as a general principle it may be laid down that the 
chief solution of the problems of the cultivator lies in promoting the 
intensity and diversity of his agriculture. 

The development of village industries on a co-operative basis is 
essential if they are to survive increasing competition. The question 
of organising them on such a basis should receive the attention of the 
departments of co-operation and industries in all provinces. One 
direction in which help could be given by Government would be by 
advances in special cases to artisan co-operative societies for the 
purchase of improved machinery. As small local factories dealing with 
the produce of limited areas multiply, the co-operative movement can 
play an important part in linking up the cultivator and the cultivator's 
produce with these localised factories. The main lines on which 
assistance can be given to the smaller industries to enable them to hold 
their own in the intensive competition of modern times are co-operative 
organisation and the provision of facilities for technical education. For 
a long time to come, Government will have to be prepared to make 
suggestions for the development of these industries and to assist them 
by advice. In some instances, they may have to make themselves 
responsible for running a pioneer enterprise. 

Government can do much to assist the mutual adjustment between 
the larger industries and agriculture by their policy in respect to 
communications and the development of power, by technical education, 
and by the collection of marketing information. 

Departments of industries have beer constituted in Madras, 
Bombay, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, the Punjab and the United Provinces 
and amongst their functions is that of the supervision of rural industries. 
Madras and Bihar and Orissa have passed State Aid to Industries Acts 
and the Punjab an Industrial Loans Act. Under these Acts, assistance, 
subject to certain conditions, can be given from provincial revenues to 
private enterprise for starting new industries. The intention of these 
Acts is to help the development of industries generally. Other things 
being equal we hope that particular attention will be paid to the develop- 
ment of agricultural industries. In some provinces, technical institutes 
exist for the training of artisans and it is on this education, general or 
particular, that we lay the greatest emphasis. 

It is essential for the success of the departments of industries that the 
Director should be an experienced administrator. 

The Famine Commission of 1880 observed tl^at "the numbers 
who have no other employment than agriculture are greatly in excess of 
what is really required for the thorough cultivation of the land." The 
labour problem of to-day is the same from the agricultural point of 
view as it was when the Famine Commission wrote these words, namely, 
to lessen the pressure op the land. This pressure might be relieved by 
permanent migration within India, but, while seasonal migration prevails 
to a considerable extent, permanent migration does not take place on 

72 Abridged Report 

the scale that might be expected. We think that the State should 
encourage the free movement of labour, and that where any restrictions 
exist, they should be reduced or abolished as soon as possible. Tn certain 
areas, migration is impeded by malaria or lack of water. Such conditions 
should be investigated and improved and definite schemes of colonisa- 
tion introduced. In this connection we would quote the example of 
Burma where colonies for Burmans from the congested areas have been 
established on lands which have been disafforested, or on waste lands 
coming under irrigation for the first time. These colonies have been 
formed on a co-operative basis and are financed through their societies 
by the ordinary taccavi loans advanced by Government. 

Finally, there is the question of relieving the pressure of population 
on the land by emigration abroad. Consideration of such possibilities 
is confined to the tropical and sub-tropical parts of the British Empire. 
Ceylon and British Malaya at present attract a large amount of Indian 
labour, but the limits of absorption in these parts have probably been 
reached. The British West Indies, Mauritius, British Guiana rnd the Fiji 
Islands also attract a certain number of Indian emigrants but British 
Guiana seems to be the only country which offers scope for migration on 
any considerable scale. A scheme of assisted migration to British 
Guiana, now under discussion, is worthy of further exhaustive investi- 
gation, as it would seem that that colony is capable of absorbing over 
two million people, or more than the total Indian population at present 
resident abroad. 

Abridged Report 73 


The cultivation of fruit and vegetables can be regarded from two 
points of view the supply of the household and 
F production for sale. In one form or another, vege- 

.it t , i i , -i T i i i 

tables appear almost daily in the Indian home and 
fruit is a popular addition whenever it can be obtained free or at small 
cost. In our Report, we deal in the main with the prospect of improving 
crops grown for the market. We assume that the relatively small number 
of market growers could be much more easily influenced by the advice 
and guidance of agricultural departments than could the growers fof 
family consumption and that any improvements effected by the former 
would influence the cultivation of fruit and vegetables by the latter. 

While there can be no question that there is much scope for the 
small cultivator who endeavours to supplement his income by growing 
cheap and hardy fruits for local sale, there are serious obstacles to be 
overcome by the grower who proposes to specialise in fruit-growing for 
the larger and more fastidious urban markets. The amount -of capital 
required is, perhaps, the greatest single obstacle, especially as it appears 
from the information given to us that, in order to be successful, the small 
cultivator must rely on his orchard, once it has come into bearing, as his 
main source of income. In addition, the ordinary cultivator lacks the 
skill required in selecting varieties, planting, pruning and spraying which 
the successful production of high grade fruit for the market demands. 
Moreover, he does not, as a rule, live on his holding and the protection of 
small areas of fruit would be difficult even where the holding was in one 
compact block and quite impracticable if, as is so frequently the case, it 
consisted of a number of separate plots. The conditions, therefore, for 
the successful production of fruit for the market are that the grower, in 
addition to the possession of capital and acquired skill in the management 
of fruit trees, should have his holding in a compact block and 
be prepared to live on it in order to protect his crop during the 
ripening season. Further, supplies of water and manure must be 
readily available and a connection with a satisfactory market must 
be established. 

The commercial fruit grower must in the main look to large urban 
centres for his market and he has to face the problems of transport and 
marketing. The difficulties of transport before the rail-head is reached are 
particularly great and can only be met by improvements in the packing 
of the fruit and the Use of suitable containers: As regards marketing, 
sale takes place as a rule through an agent. The general absence of cold 
storage facilities and of an alternative market are obstacles to successful 
marketing. Regulated markets, when these are situated in areas 
in which fruit is grown to meet a local demand, might prove of much 
benefit to the wholesale vendor. The more immediate hope of expansion 
would seem to lie in the home markets, combined with the exploration 
of the demand in markets abroad for specially choice fruits, such as 
mangoes of good quality. These remarks apply with even greater force 

74 Abridged Report 

to vegetables, because vegetables, to a much greater extent than fruit^ 
may be regarded as having a potential market among the bulk of the 
population and, in these circumstances, the prospects of market gardening 
are more hopeful than those of fruit culture. Facilities for the disposal 
of fruit surplus to the demand for fresh produce become of great import- 
ance in the production of fruit on a commercial scale. It will be necessary 
to study the tastes of the mass oi consumers in India as the home market 
is by far the most important, but an* attempt might also be made to 
place one or two special products, such as mango pulp, on the foreign 

There is much important research work to be done in connection 
with fruits and vegetables and the agricultural departments are devoting 
considerable attention to the subject. But, even more urgent than the 
need for research is the need to ascertain what the economic possibilities 
of increased fruit and vegetable production may be in order that the 
agricultural departments may know to what extent the development of 
their horticultural sections is justified in the interest of the small 
cultivator. Transport and marketing are basic difficulties and the 
provincial marketing officers should undertake the investigation of these 

While the economic possibilities of increased production are thus being 
worked out, we suggest that the agricultural departments should conduct 
experiments designed to ascertain the varieties of fruit and vegetables 
best suited to the various conditions of soil and climate. The information 
so obtained should be recorded in a form which will enable those intend- 
ing to start fruit and vegetable production to profit by it. Should it 
become evident that there will be a large demand for young fruit trees 
and for seeds of improved varieties of vegetables, the agricultural 
departments should take steps to ensure that reliable stocks 
are obtainable by the public. The possibilities of introducing 
profitable exotics should also repay investigation. Nurserymen and 
seedsmen are making their appearance in India, but as a class they are 
not, as yet, fitted to make their own selections of fruit trees and 
vegetable seeds. The agricultural departments should use every means 
in their power to encourage and strengthen private enterprise in this 

The planting industries, which deal principally with tea, coffee 
and rubber, are well organised and both the Indian Tea Association and 
the United Planters' Association of Southern India maintain their own 
experimental stations and laboratories. They are in close touch with the 
Imperial and provincial departments of agriculture. We consider that 
the value of their scientific work should be recognised and co-operation 
between these associations and the agricultural departments secured 
by arrangements for their joint representation on the Council of 
Agricultural Research. 

Abridged Report 75 


The compilation of agricultural statistics of a uniform type for 

CHAPTER xvin or all India began in 1884. The Famine Commission 
THE MUN RHPOET. o f 1880 drew attention to the importance of improv- 
ing statistics and the early efforts of the agricultural departments were 
largely concentrated on this work. 

The statistics published by the Government of India which have 
an agricultural bearing deal with (a) cultivation and crops ; (6) livestock 
and implements ; (c) vital statistics ; and (d) economic data. 

The Agricultural Statistics of India are published annually in tvv, 
volumes, the first of which relates to British India and the second to 
certain Indian States. For each province orState figures are given of 
the total area, classified as cultivated, uncultivated and forests ; the* area 
and crops irrigated ; the total area under crops and under each important 
crop ; livestock, ploughs and carts ; the incidence of the land revenue 
assessment ; the harvest prices of certain important crops ; and the 
average yield of the principal crops in each province. We have two 
recommendations to make regarding this publication. The date of issue 
might be expedited with advantage, and the figures might be given by 
districts as was formerly done. 

A report is published quinquennially on the average yield per acre in 
each province of the principal crops in India, seventeen in number. 
There is also published in the Indian Trade Journal, a weekly publication, 
about one year after the year to which it relates, a provisional issue of 
Volume I of the Agricultural Statistics of India and full particulars 
relating to tea, coffee and rubber. A crop atlas has also been published. 

Crop forecasts for all-India are issued each season for eleven of the 
principal crops and the Estimates of Area and Yield of the Principal Crops 
in Indiaj including all crops for which forecasts are issued and also tea, 
coffee, rubber and certain other crops, are published annually. We 
suggest that, in this compilation, figures of areas and yield should be 
given separately for British India and the Indian States and that indigo 
should now be omitted. 

Provincial forecasts, as well as those for the whole of India, are 
published in the Indian Trade Journal. We consider that the custom 
of publishing them in leaflet form should be revived. Arrangements 
should also be made for the issue of forecasts in the vernacular and for 
their supply to cultivators. 

Except in Burma and the Central Provinces, forecasts are prepared by 
the agricultural departments. If these departments receive the statistical 
assistance we recommend later, we think it would be advantageous if 
forecasts in these two provinces were to be prepared by the agricultural 
departments. In Burma, however, the rice forecast should continue 
to be prepared as at present by the Commissioner of Settlements and 
Land Records. 

A quinquennial census of livestock, ploughs and carts is held. 

76 Abridged Report 

Much statistical information of value is contained in the provincial 
Season and Crop Reports and in various departmental reports. We 
suggest that the statistics in the reports of the irrigation, education and 
forest departments should be modified in certain directions to give fuller 

The Statistical Abstract for British India summarises most of the 
information given in the reports referred to above. 

Care should be taken to reconcile discrepancies between the figures 
given in the various departmental returns and those given in the 
Agricultural Statistics of India. 

The figures for land classified as " not available for cultivation " and 
" culturable waste " are apt to give rise to misconception. The Agricul- 
tural Statistics of India suggest that nearly one quarter of the total 
area of British India is culturable but not cultivated. We consider 
that the classification requires careful re-examination. 

It is generally admitted that the annual figures of the areas sown 
with the various crops attain a high standard of accuracy. In most 
provinces, there is a satisfactory agency for collecting the figures. The 
exceptions are Bengal and Bihar and Orissa. A fairly efficient machinery 
to which we refer below has been evolved to collect the statistics of jute 
production and we would suggest for consideration the possibility of 
extending it to other crops in the permanently settled parts of those 
two provinces and of Assam. 

The three factors necessary for estimating the yield of a crop are 
area, normal yield and estimate of condition. The estimate of normal 
yield is based on crop-cutting experiments made over a number of 
years. At present, these experiments are generally conducted by the 
revenue departments. This practice should continue till the statistical 
side of the work of the agricultural departments is expanded. Changes 
in the figures of standard yield of crops should only be made on data 
based on accurate crop cuttings. The condition estimate is the most 
difficult to arrive at satisfactorily. We agree with the view expressed 
by the Board of Agriculture in 1919 that all attempts to teach the primary 
reporting agency to form an exact mental picture of a normal crop should 
be abandoned and that it is for the district officers and the provincial 
authorities through whom the village accountant's estimate passes, to 
correct it. 

Jute is the only crop for the publication of the estimate of yield of 
which the Department of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics is not 
responsible. The Director of Agriculture, Bengal, issues the estimates 
not only for Bengal, but also for Bihar and Orissa and Assam. He now 
relies for his figures on presidents of panchayats. The figures are checked 
by the subdivisional officers and the district officers and forwarded to the 
Director of Agriculture. Agricultural officers assist the district officers, 
wherever possible. There appears to be no good reason why the trade 
interests should not collaborate with the Government of Bengal in the 
same way as the rice trade does in Rangoon. The fact that the cultivator 

Abridged Report 77 

has an interest as important as that of the jute trade in the accuracy 
of these estimates should always be kept in mind. 

The improvement in the statistics of cotton recently effected by the 
Indian Central Cotton Committee furnishes an example of the statistical 
benefits to be obtained from the thorough organisation of all interests 
connected with a particular crop. 

The annual returns of rail and river-borne trade have been discontinued. 
We regard this as unfortunate as information regarding the movements 
of agricultural produce within India is now altogether lacking. We 
consider that they should be revived and that statistics should be collected 
of the trade on the main roads crossing the frontiers of India. 

With regard to livestock statistics, we would recommend that the 
quinquennial census should be taken simultaneously in all provinces 
and that an effort should be made to ensure uniformity of classifica- 
tion. A suitable classification might be laid down by the Oattle 

In the case of vital statistics, we suggest that separate figures, should 
be given for urban and rural districts. We think also that the number 
and distribution of institutions for the treatment of disease and the 
strength and distribution of medical and health services, including trained 
midwives, should be shown separately for urban and rural districts as 
we consider it very important that the position of rural areas in regard 
to these essential services should be clearly stated. 

There is also much useful work for private individuals and associations 
to do in correlating vital statistics and health data with those relating to 
agricultural and irrigation conditions. Similarly there is wide scope for 
scientific research into such socio-economic problems as indebtedness, 
mortgage debt and fragmentation of holdings. Such work can be taken 
up by university organisations and semi-official bodies of the type of 
the Punjab Board of Economic Enquiry. 

If statistics are to be adequately dealt with, we consider that there 
must be a strengthening of staff all along the line. No statistical orga- 
nisation at present exists in any province. In the first place, we consider 
that every Director of Agriculture should, without delay, be given a 
capable statistical assistant. His main concern would be with the 
compilation of crop forecasts, with statistics of agricultural production, 
with the technique and supervision of crop-cutting experiments and 
with the collection of statistics regarding prices. Such officers might 
suitably be attached to the central statistical organisation. Further, as 
the application of mathematics to agriculture has introduced an entirely 
new factor into scientific agriculture, We consider that a specialist with 
the highest qualifications in this branch of agricultural science should 
be attached to the Imperial Agricultural Research Institute. 

Apart from agricultural prqblems, we would draw attention to the 
increasing importance which is being attached all over the world to 
statistical research as an aid to the formulation of social policies. We 
consider thalj the efforts of Government to promote rural welfare would 

78 Abridged Repvrt 

be greatly assisted by the appointment of a well qualified statistical 
officer to provincial headquarters to whom would be entrusted the duty 
of studying all. aspects of the economic and social progress of the province. 
Such an officer should be the centre round which voluntary workers 
in the field of economic and social statistics would gather rather than 
the head of a purely official organisation. In short, he should be the 
director of a bureau of statistical information. 

With regard to the central organisation, we consider that the 
Department of Statistics should be reconstituted as a separate depart- 
ment. The Director should be a man of recognised competence and 
should be relieved, as far as possible, of all avoidable routine matters 
in connection with ordinary statistics. It would, in our view, be 
useless to engage any but a first class statistician for the duties we have 
in mind. The officer selected must be of sufficient standing to make 
his advice acceptable not only to the provincial statistical officers but 
also to the business world and the informed public. One of his most 
important duties would be to establish close touch with these very 
important non-official sections of the community and We trust that 
provision will be made in the central statistical organisation for boards 
which would advise on the publication of statistics and their periodical 
revision and that representative leading economists, scientists and 
business men will find a place on these boards as Well as officials of 
the departments interested. In this way, We trust that a school 
of statistical interpretation may develop in this country which would 
have little or no formal connection with Government but would, neverthe- 
less, have access to, and be thoroughly familiar with official statistical 
material of all lands. In fact, there would, we trust, gather round the 
Central Bureau of Statistical Information the beginnings of a Royal 
Statistical Society for India. 

The whole basis of statistics in India urgently requires broadening. 
It should rest not on the work of a few government officials however 
able, but on the support of the informed public and through them on the 
recognition by the legislatures and by the general public that modern 
statistical methods are in a position to make an indispensable contri- 
bution to the successful development alike of scientific agriculture and 
of social administration. 

We consider that every opportunity should be taken to utilise the 
statistical experience of the International Institute of Agriculture at 

As a primary agency for the collection of agricultural statistics in 
temporarily settled areas, we see no practicable alternative to the con- 
tinued employment of subordinate revenue officials, but more uscj 
should be made of non-official agencies. 

Abridged Report 79 


We consider here the recruitment, organisation, pay and conditions of 
service of the personnel of the agricultural depart- 

CHAPTER XIX o ments with special reference to the increased rea- 
ms MAIN RPO*T. ponsibilities which will be imposed upon them 
if the recommendations made in the Report are accepted. Recruitment 
for the Indian Agricultural Service ceased in 1924 in consequence of 
the general decision taken, on the recommendation of the Royal 
Commission on the Superior Civil Services in India, not to recruit 
further for such of the all-India services as were administering subjects, 
of which agriculture was one, which had been transferred under 
the Constitutional Reforms of 1919, to the control of the Governors of 
provinces acting with their Ministers. When recruitment for the Ser- 
vice ceased in 1924, its sanctioned strength was 157 ; 19 posts under- the 
Government of India and 138 under local governments. The 'Service 
was, however, considerably under strength and only 109 posts were 
filled. This has since fallen to 93 ; 12 officers serving under the 
Government of India and 81 under provincial governments. To these 
81 officers there should be added 16 officers holding permanent appoint- 
ments not included in the cadre of the Indian Agricultural Service. 
Thus the duties of the higher branches of the service in the provinces 
are now being performed by 97 officers and this may bo regarded as 
the minimum strength required for the existing work. 

Prior to 1920, Bombay and the Central Provinces were the only 
provinces which had a regular provincial service. As a result of the 
recommendations of the Public Services Commission, commonly known 
as the Islington Commission, such services were constituted in all pro- 
vinces after 1920, partly by absorption of special posts, partly by the 
promotion of officers of the upper subordinate services and partly by 
direct recruitment. In the present depleted state of the Indian Agri- 
cultural Service some officers of the provincial services officiate more 
or less continuously in professorial or research appointments. In all 
provinces except Burma, the minimum pay of this service is Rs. 250 per 
mensem and the maximum Rs. 750 per mensem. In Burma, the mini- 
mum and maximum are Rs. 300 and Rs. 800 respectively. The present 
strength of the provincial services is 157. 

Below the provincial services in all provinces come subordinate 
services, the designations of which are as various as their rates of pay. 
In most provinces, the qualification for the upper grade of the subordinate 
service is the possession of the degree or diploma of an agricultural col- 
lege. Scales of pay differ greatly but, in no province, is the minimum 
starting pay of the upper grade less than Rs. 60 or the maximum more 
than Rs. 300 per mensem. The upper subordinate services provide 
managers and assistant managers of farms, demonstrators of agricultural 
improvements, and laboratory and teaching assistants at the colleges ; 
it also renders general help in the work of the department under 
the orders of the deputy or assistant directors of agriculture. The 
[ower grade. of the subordinate services consists mainly of those who 

80 Abridged Report 

hold a certificate that they have passed the two years' course of an 
agricultural college. It provides overseers for the smaller farms and 
for demonstration plots, and also sub-assistants on the research side of 
the colleges. The rates of pay vary greatly, but nowhere is the 
minimum less than Rs. 30 or the maximum more than Bs. 180 per 

Below the two grades which have been described comes a large class 
of subordinates recruited for the most part from the sons of cultivators 
who are literate but have had no secondary education. They 
have, however, undergone a course of special training. Their rates 
of pay vary from a minimum of Rs. 16 per mensem to a maximum 
of Rs. 60. 

For convenience of reference, we propose throughout the remainder 
of this chapter to designate appointments in the new superior provincial 
agricultural services, which will ultimately take over the duties of the 
Indian Agricultural Service entirely, as Class I appointments, and appoint- 
ments in the existing provincial agricultural services as Class II 

We consider the posts of Director of Agriculture and principal of 
an agricultural college of such importance that we would schedule them 
as selection posts outside the cadre of Class I officers. The officer selected 
for the directorship should combine administrative capacity with high 
scientific qualifications. The administrative responsibilities of the 
directors are certain to grow and much of the technical work at 
present in their hands must pass to the charge of officers subordi- 
nate to them. We cannot too strongly state our conviction that the 
directorship of agriculture is one of the key posts in rural development, 
and that agricultural advance must in a very great degree depend upon 
the suitability of the officer appointed. It may happen that the ' 
administrative capacity we postulate as an essential qualification for a 
Director of Agriculture may not be forthcoming in the Agricultural 
Department of a particular province, when a vacancy in the appoint- 
ment occurs. In such circumstances, we think that the local Government 
should, in the first instance, turn to the Agricultural Department of 
another province and, failing that, to the Indian Civil Service. 

There is no appointment, except that of Director of Agriculture, 
the holder of which has greater opportunities for influencing the course 
of agricultural development in his province than the principal of an 
agricultural college. If this officer fails to take advantage of these 
opportunities, and if, in consequence, the efficiency of the college is 
lowered, agricultural progress in the province must suffer a set back 
from which it may take years fully to recover. In the event of a 
suitable officer not being available from the Agricultural Service, 
selection from the Educational Service should be considered. 

In view of the greatly increased responsibilities which will be placed on 
directors of agriculture if the departmental organisation develops in the 
way we recommend that it should, We consider that their pay and status 

Abridged Report 81 

should be improved. We therefore recommend that directors of agri- 
culture should be placed on an equality with the heads of other important 
departments such as those of Public Instruction and Forests. The 
principals of agricultural colleges at present receive pay on the time scale 
of the Indian Agricultural Service with a special pay of Bs. 150 per 
mensem. The ordinary time scale of the Indian Agricultural Service is 
not, in our opinion, commensurate with the responsibility of the post and 
we would, therefore, suggest a scale of Bs. 1,500 50 2,000. The 
special pay of Bs. 150 per mensem would be abolished. In the case of 
both these appointments, overseas pay would, of course, continue to bS 
given to those officer* who are eligible for it and the posts would continue 
to be pensionable under the ordinary rules. The Director of Agriculture 
should be eligible for the higher rate of additional pension. 

In some of the larger provinces, the additional responsibilities which 
fall on the Director of Agriculture as the result of the acceptance of our 
recommendations may render it desirable that the Director should be 
given the assistance of a joint director. If such an appointment is made, 
we consider that the joint director should be given, in addition to his pay 
in the ordinary line^ suitable special pay in recognition of his increased 

Although recruitment for the Indian Agricultural Service ceased 
in 1924. no province has, as yet, constituted a new Superior Provincial 
Service to take it? place. We offer the folio wing suggestions as to the 
manner in which the agricultural services should be recruited and 
organised and the terms and conditions of service which should be 
offered. We recognise, however, that the financial circumstances of 
the provinces differ widely and that a scale of organisation which one 
province is in a position to adopt immediately may only be a distant 
ideal to another. 

As regards the qualifications required of officers, wo consider that the 
time has now come when the problems of agricultural research in this 
country demand a more specialised type of officer. In such branches 
of science as plant genetics and the investigation of plant disease, the 
conditions are now passing, if, indeed, they nave not already passed, in 
which success comes rapidly because the field of research is virgin ground. 
Agricultural research in India now requires men who combine scientific 
knowledge and technique of the first order with the vision and creative 
power essential to the opening up of new and original lines of work. 
We are convinced that the field of recruitment for. the Superior Provincial 
Service in any province ought not to be restricted to the province itself 
or to India. The best man should be selected, wherever he can be 
found. As regards qualifications, we consider that more importance 
should be attached to the record of the candidate in the field of research 
in which the appointment is being made than to his academic distinctions, 
but an honours degree in science at a university of repute, or its equi- 
valent, should be regarded as an essential qualification. 

As regards terms of engagement, we are not in favour of short-term 
agreements: The adoption of such a policy would mean, in many cases, 

no Y 39264- 

82 Abridged Report 

that valuable experience gained by an officer during his period of service 
would be lost to India at the end of it. At the same time, special arrange- 
ments will be necessary if research Workers of the requisite calibre are 
to be recruited. The basic pay which might be sufficient to attract 
the right type of administrative or teaching officer is not, in our opinion, 
sufficient to secure the first class research worker. We consider that this 
can best be given in the form of special pay, personal to the individual 
officer. In view of the strong competition for first class men from private 
agencies and the new Colonial Scientific Service during the period of its 
formation, we consider that provincial governments would do well to 
institute a system of scholarships for their candidates. These scholar- 
ships would be awarded to graduates selected as possessing the kind of 
qualifications required and should be of sufficient value to maintain the 
scholar whilst he is obtaining the post-graduate qualifications necessary 
for research posts. As special machinery will be required to award the 
scholarships, to arrange for post-graduate courses of study at suitable 
centres for the holders of scholarships and to watch their progress, we 
consider it desirable that the scheme should be administered by a sub- 
committee of the Council of Agricultural Research. 

In organising their research departments, provincial governments 
should realise that there are two quite distinct types of research workers 
men capable of original research and men fitted only to carry on work 
along well established lines. Work of this character is an essential part 
of the work of a research station, but does not demand talents of a high 
order. It is most important that there should be no confusion between 
the two types when the creation or filling of an appointment on the 
research side is under consideration. Where what is required is routine 
work, this should be provided for by an appointment in Class II. It 
follows that promotions from Class II to Class I in the case of - 
research posts should only be made where there are Class II officers 
available who are endowed with the qualifications of the true research 

If India is to achieve a greater measure of self-sufficiency in the matter 
of higher agricultural training, it is essential that the standard of teaching 
in the agricultural colleges should be a high one. For on the quality of 
the instruction in the fundamental agricultural sciences which students 
have received in the agricultural colleges will depend the use they are 
able to make of the post-graduate facilities which we have recommended 
should be provided at Pusa. We are, therefore, of opinion that the 
teaching side of the agricultural colleges should be strengthened and 
that the professorships in agriculture and agricultural economics and 
also, where the professorships in botany and chemistry are held by research 
officers, the senior lecturerships in these subjects, should invariably be 
filled by officers of the Indian Agricultural Service or by Class I officers 
of the new provincial services. We do not contemplate that the special 
pay we recommend for the holders of research posts should be attached 
to any posts in the colleges, the duties of which are solely or primarily 
teaching duties. 

Abridged Report 88 

On the administrative aide, we contemplate that a considerable number 
of vacancies in Class I appointments will be normally filled by the promo- 
tion of Class II officers. In the case of direct appointments, a university 
degree with honours in science or the diploma of a recognised agricultural 
college or other like distinction combined with practical experience of 
agriculture should be insisted on. Where the candidate has undergone 
his previous training in a provincial agricultural college or an Indian 
university, a post-graduate course should be made an essential quali- 
fication. All officers appointed to Class I posts, whether directly recruited 
or promoted, should be placed on probation for a period sufficient to) 
determine their fitness. This period can hardly, we think, be less than 
two years. Confirmation should unhesitatingly be refused when a 
probationer has failed to justify his selection. 

We consider that it will make for efficiency if, during the earlier years 
of service, interchange is freely allowed between the administrative, the 
research and the teaching branches of the service. 

Subject to the reservation already made in regard to specia.1 pay for 
research posts and to the possibility that it may prove desirable to attach 
similar pay to administrative posts requiring exceptional qualifications, 
such as the deputy directorships for demonstration and propaganda 
work and for marketing investigations, we consider that the basic time- 
scale now in force for the Indian Agricultural Service (Rs. 350 to Us. 1,250 
per mensem) should be sufficient for Class I appointments. We regard 
it as of the greatest importance for obtaining men of outstanding merit 
who will ordinarily be in a position to choose the employment the condi- 
tions of which appeal to them most, that, before recruitment for Class I 
appointments commences, effect should be given to the recommendations 
of the Royal Commission on the Superior Civil Services in India that local 
governments and local legislatures should take immediate steps to pass 
Public Service Acts regulating both the new and the existing provincial 
services. That there must be some authority regulating service questions 
which is external to provincial governments if the evils of the intrusion 
of political influences are to be avoided seems to us self evident. 

We consider that the relations between the various provincial services 
should be of the closest possible character and that arrangements should 
be made for the interchange of officers to deal with special problems. 
Similarly workers in India should keep in touch with other Empire 
workers. The creation of a chain of Empire research stations would 
furnish a unique opportunity for establishing personal relations, as it 
would greatly facilitate arrangements for interchange of visits between 
research workers in India and those in other parts of the Empire, the 
direct and, even more, the indirect results of which should be of the 
greatest value to both. Study leave should be freely given and, in the 
case of research workers, we trust that this will lead, to the develop- 
ment, in the course of time, of a system of exchange of officers between 
Empire and Indian research stations for definite periods. 

Although we do not anticipate any substantial change in the nature 
of the duties which fall to the existing provincial agricultural services, 

MO Ytt2-*0+- 

8* Abridged Report 

their duties will grow rapidly in importance as agricultural development 
proceeds. As advisers to the agricultural associations, taluka develop* 
ment associations, co-operative better farming societies and the other 
organisations through which, we trust, the desire for agricultural improve- 
ment will find increasing expression, they will continue to act as liaison 
officers between the expert officers in Class I and the individual landholder 
and cultivator. It will be important, therefore, that promotions to 
Class II posts shall be made strictly by selection on grounds of merit 
and that no weight should be attached to seniority. We see no reason to 
suggest any change in the system under which members of these services 
are recruited. Vacancies in administrative posts will ordinarily be filled 
by promotion from the upper grades of the subordinate services. Direct 
appointments will, as a rule, be for research and teaching duties. Until 
Public Service Commissions are set up in the provinces, we are of opinion 
that promotions and direct appointanents to these services should be 
made on the recommendation of a strong selection committee. 

We next come to the lower grades in the agricultural services. It is 
the men of these grades who carry out all the detailed work of the depart- 
ment, such aa the management of the smaller farms, the selection, multi- 
plication and distribution of seed, and the management of livestock. 
This work demands high qualities of skill and intelligence for its successful 
performance. The upper grades of these subordinate services are recruited 
from graduates and holders of diplomas of the agricultural colleges and, 
in order to remove any possible misapprehension as to the importance 
of the duties performed, we recommend that, in all provinces, the two 
higher grades of the subordinate services should be designated agricultural 
assistants, Class I and II. As a proportion of these assistants will be 
promoted in the normal course to Class II of the provincial agricultural 
services, we would emphasise the importance of careful selection on first 
appointment and the need for a period of probation with a strict review 
of the record of the probationer before he is confirmed. 

We contemplate that the Research Institute at Pusa will set a standard 
for all research institutions in India, and we also hope that it will become 
a centre for post-graduate study for passed students of the provincial 
agricultural colleges. If Pusa is again to set the standard of agricultural 
research in India and become the recognised centre of post-graduate 
training, it will be necessary that its superior staff should consist of 
research workers and teachers of the highest calibre. In addition to 
the Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India, there are at present 
in residence at Pusa nine officers holding what are known as Class I 
appointments in the Imperial Department of Agriculture, of whom six 
are heads of the sections into which the work of the Institute is divided, 
namely, Bacteriology, Botany, Chemistry, Cultivation and Cattle 
breeding (in charge of the Imperial Agriculturist), Entomology, and 
Mycology. The Physiological Chemist and the Imperial Dairy Expert 
whose headquarters are at Bangalore are also heads of their respective- 
sections. The number and character of the posts which will be required 
in future cannot be estimated with any certainty, but in considering the- 

Abridged Report 85 

strength of the staff at Pusa, it should be borne in mind that Pusa ia 
not an ordinary research institute, as the term is used in other countries, 
but a group of institutes and that the sections into which it is divided 
have, up to the present, been staffed on a less generous scale than, for 
example, institutes in Great Britain. The Director and heads of sections 
will require to be most carefully selected. Whilst we have no desire 
to debar the appointment either as Director or Head of the Section, 
of any officer of exceptional merit already in the service, we consider 
it necessary under existing conditions, that these appointments should, 
in the main, be filled by direct recruitment from abroad. Other Class ^ 
officers should be recruited either directly or by selection from the 
Indian Agricultural Service or the superior provincial agricultural ser- 
vices. We prefer that the staff required both for Pusa itself and for its 
sub-stations should be recruited as members of a permanent service 
and not on short-term agreements ; and we propose that this service 
should be called the Central Agricultural Research Service. For the 
Director it will be necessary to fix such a rate of pay as may be required 
to obtain the services of the best man available. Although, we find it 
difficult to suggest an appropriate scale for the heads of sections, we 
consider a scale of Rs. 1,500 50 2,000 to be the minimum that is likely 
to attract men of the calibre that we regard as essential. Provident 
funds should be established for both the Director and heads of sections 
where these officers do not already possess pensionary rights. 

Although we are unable, as we have stated, to estimate the number 
of posts required, we consider that, as a commencement, there should, 
in addition to the heads of sections, be at least one Class I officer attached 
to each section. The relationship between the heads of sections and 
these Class I officers will be very much the same as that between the 
incumbent of a Chair at a university and the lecturer on the subject for 
which the Chair is founded. We contemplate that these officers after a 
limited period of probation, which might suitably be fixed at three years, 
will either be confirmed in their appointments and ordinarily remain in 
the Central Agricultural Research Service for the remainder of their 
service, or be reverted to their provinces. For these officers we consider 
that the existing time-scale of pay of the Indian Agricultural Service 
with a suitable addition to the time-scale in substitution for the exist- 
ing Pusa allowance is sufficient. In. order to secure uniformity, provi- 
dent funds should be established for officers directly recruited to these 
appointments. Officers of the Indian Agricultural Service or of Class I of 
the provincial services would continue to earn pension under the 
ordinary rules. 

The superior staff at Pusa has at present the assistance of officers 
who are designated Class II officers in the Imperial Department of Agri- 
culture. They are, as a rule, graduates or holders of diplomas of the 
agricultural colleges or graduates of universities who have distinguished 
themselves in science. We consider that this valuable class should be 
developed and its status raised. We think that it would be an advantage 
if appointments to this class were largely filled by promising junior 

86 Abridged Report 

Class I officers in the provinces and partly by Glass II officers in the 
provinces who have done work of outstanding merit. With a view to 
forging an additional link between the Pusa and the provincial services, 
we think that the tenure of these appointments should be limited to five 
years when held by Provincial Service officers. Graduates of Indian 
universities and passed students of agricultural colleges who have 
undergone a period of post-graduate training would continue to be eligible 
for direct appointments to this class. . As regards pay, we suggest that 
provincial service officers should receive their provincial scale of pay 
with a Pusa allowance of Rs. 150 per mensem and those directly recruited 
should receive pay on the scale of Class II officers in the Provincial 
Service with a similar allowance. Appointments in this class should 
in every case be pensionable. 

We hope that, as the result of the establishment of the Council of 
Agricultural Research, the Pusa staff will be brought into far closer 
relation witli the provincial agricultural departments than now exists. 
Their visits to provinces cannot fail to enlarge the outlook of members 
of the Central Agricultural Service and to increase their experience. 
The cost of short visits should, we consider, be regarded as part of the 
normal expenditure of the Pusa Institute ; and any obstacle to this 
course arising from existing rulos governing the financial relations between 
the Imperial and provincial governments should be removed. 

In conclusion, we record our considered opinion that restriction of 
recruitment for the new superior provincial agricultural services to a 
province or even to India would tell seriously on efficiency. From the 
point of view of wider outlook and variety of experience, officers recruited 
from abroad can make a valuable contribution to the development of 
Indian agriculture and we, therefore, strongly endorse the hope expressed 
by the Royal Commission on Superior Civil Services in India in regard 
to the continued co-operation of European officers. 

Abridged Report 87 


Agricultural development in the minor provinces, which remains under 
the direct control of the Government of India, 
CHAPTKR XX OF deserves, in our opinion, more attention than it has 
THK MAIN RBPOBT. hitherto received. Much the most important of these 
provinces, though it is not the largest in area, is the 
North- West Frontier Province. The agricultural and other rural pro- 
blems of this province have been examined with those of the nine major 
provinces of India in the previous chapters of this Report and it is, there* 
fore, unnecessary to discuss them further here. The other five minor 
provinces under the control of the Government of India are Baluchistan* 
Ajmer-Merwara, the Andaman Islands, Coorg and Delhi. We consider 
that, with the exception of Delhi, they should have a definite agricultural 
organisation which, if they cannot finance it themselves, should be a 
charge on central revenues. For research, they should rely on Pusa and 
the research staff of the neighbouring major provinces. As regards district 
work, the staff of a deputy director's circle would form a suitable unit for 
Baluchistan, Ajmer-Merwara, Coorg and the Andamans. The deputy 
director should be obtained on deputation, preferably from the neigh- 
bouring major province, and should be given a sp'ecial allowance in view 
of his increased responsibility. The directors of agriculture and the 
heads of the veterinary departments in the major provinces concerned 
should act as advisers to the heads of the minor provinces and should 
visit them periodically. Subordinate staff should be recruited on the 
advice of the deputy director. The Province of Delhi should continue 
to look for assistance to the Punjab Agricultural and Veterinary depart- 

We trust that the Council of Agricultural Research will take a special 
interest in the agricultural development of these tracts. In order that 
agricultural progress in these provinces should be on sound lines it is 
essential that increased attention should be paid to the development of 
education and co-operation. 

The foundations of an active policy of co-operation in agricultural 
and co-operative matters between the Government in British India and 
Indian States have already been laid through representation of some of 
the States on the Indian Central Cotton Committee and the Board of 
Agriculture. It is hoped that the manner in which co-operation can be 
rendered more effective, and more especially the manner in which Indian 
States can best be brought into the organisation for research in British 
India, will receive early and careful consideration from the Government 
of India and the rulers of Indian States. 

From the point of view of rural welfare generally, we welcome 
the foundation in 1927 of a Local Self -Government Institute for the 
Bombay Presidency. The object of the Institute appears to us an ad- 
mirable one. It is " to acquaint the people with the meaning and ideal' 
of local self-government, its importance, its problems and the methods 
of dealing with these problems." The Institute will have local branches 
throughout the presidency and one of its main activities will be the 

88 Abridged Report 

organisation of district, divisional and provincial conferences. The 
district conferences will be held once or twice a year and will provide an 
opportunity for representatives of local bodies in the district to meet 
and discuss local problems and difficulties. The scheme appears to us 
to hold out great promise of advantage to rural as well as to urban 
interests. It also provides a common meeting ground for both, and, by 
so doing, should do much to bring about an increasing sense of mutual 
interest and an increasing spirit of mutual help. We commend the 
principles of the Bombay scheme to the notice of other provincial govern- 
ments and to the local self-governing bodies in their provinces. 

The close relations of meteorology and agriculture are obvious. 
The study of the laws governing weather is the concern of the meteoro- 
logist : the effect of weather on crops is a matter for the agriculturist. 
The transfer of the headquarters of the Meteorological Department from 
Simla to Poona makes opportune an examination of the action which 
should be taken to promote the investigation of the problems of agri- 
cultural meteorology and to decide which departments shall be responsi- 
ble for the different branches of the work. Investigations by scientists 
interested in agriculture can be undertaken in two directions ; the first 
is statistical and the' second biological. Much useful light would be 
thrown on agricultural questions if the weather data collected by the 
Meteorological Department were correlated with the statistics of area 
sown and yield of crops collected by the Revenue Department. Agricul- 
tural departments should make themselves responsible for meteorological 
studies relating to the influence of weather conditions on the growing crop. 
Such observations and study seem to be particularly necessary in Sind 
in view of the possibility that the completion of the Sukkur Barrage 
will produce a pronounced effect on the climate. 

India should continue to adhere to the International Institute of 
Agriculture at Rome and to send representatives to the meetings of the 
General Assembly. As regards representation on the Permanent 
Committee of the Institute, the interests of India can, as at present, be 
adequately looked after by the British representative. The Institute 
has collected much information of the greatest value to India and its 
usefulness has recently been further enhanced by the establishment of 
a Bureau of Tropical and Colonial Agriculture. It is, therefore, very 
desirable that officers of the agricultural and allied departments should 
be encouraged to visit the Institute for the study of a specific subject 
when on leave or duty in Europe. 

The principal functions of the Imperial Institute in London are to 
serve as a clearing house for information relating to the production and 
utilisation of the raw materials of the Empire and to carry out preliminary 
investigations of such materials in its laboratories. The Institute can 
render much useful help to agricultural workers and commercial interests 
in India and wide publicity should be given to the facilities it offers. 
The reorganisation of the Indian gallery at the Imperial Institute, on the 
lines followed by the Dominions and Crown Colonies and the renewal of ' 
the subscription for its maintenance, should be considered. 

Abndgtd Report 89 


We liave been directed to examine and report on the present conditions 

CHAPTER XXI OF of agriculture and rural economy in British India 

ra MAIN RKPOBT. ^d to make recommendations for the improvement 

of agriculture and the promotion of the welfare and prosperity of the 

rural population. 

The aim of the suggestions and recommendations we have made in 
the preceding chapters has been to bring about greater efficiency through- 
out the whole field of agricultural production and to render the business 
of farming more profitable to the cultivator. Throughout our Eeport, t 
we have endeavoured to make plain our conviction that no substantial 
improvement in agriculture can be effected unless the cultivator has tho 
will to achieve a better standard of living and the capacity, in terms of 
mental equipment and of physical health, to take advantage of the 
opportunities which science, vrise Jaws and good administration may 
place at his disposal. Of all the factors making for prosperous agri- 
culture, by far the most important is the outlook of the peasant 

This, in the main, is determined by his environment and it follows, 
therefore, that the success of all measures designed for the advancement 
of agriculture must depend upon the creation of conditions favourable 
to progress. If this conclusion be accepted, the improvement of village 
life in all directions assumes at once a new importance as the first and 
essential step in a comprehensive policy designed to promote the pros- 
perity of the whole population and to enhance the national income 
at the source. The demand for a better life can, in our opinion, be 
stimulated only by a deliberate and concerted effort to improve the 
general conditions of the country-side, and we have no hesitation in 
affirming that the responsibility for initiating the steps required to effect 
this improvement rests with Government. 

The realisation of this important truth has led, in recent years, to a 
large increase in expenditure on the departments concerned with rural 
welfare. None the less, we feel that its force is inadequately appreciated 
by the Government of India and by local governments and that the 
necessity that the rural problem should be attacked as a whole, and at 
all points simultaneously, is still insufficiently present to their minds. 
We cannot but think that the failure to grasp the full significance of the 
proposition we have laid down in some measure explains the absence of 
any co-ordinated attempts to effect that change in the surroundings and 
in the psychology of the peasant without which there can be no hope 
of substantially raising his standard of living. 

If the inertia of centuries is to be overcome, it is essential that all the 
resources at the disposal of the State should be brought to bear on the 
problem of rural uplift. What is required is an organised and sustained 
effort by all those departments whose activities touch the lives and the 
surroundings of the rural population. 

It is, no doubt, the recognition of the need for co-ordination that has 
given rise in many quarters to the view that lasting progress is unlikely 

90 Abridged Report 

to be achieved unless, in all provinces, the activities of the various depart- 
ments concerned are co-ordinated by development boards, advisory 
committees, or officers charged with the specific duty of securing com- 
bined action towards a given end. Development boards exist in some 
provinces, advisory committees in all. They are not without their value 
in bringing departments together and in interesting the leaders of public 
opinion in departmental activities. But there are definite limits to the 
extent to which governments may -properly or usefully delegate the 
performance of their functions. The responsibility for framing policy, and 
for combining the activities of two or more departments in order to give 
effect to that policy, must remain that of Government and of Govern- 
ment alone. 

It is no part of our duty to make recommendations regarding the 
internal organisation by which governments should seek to effect co- 
ordination. We would, however, point out that, in Indian conditions, 
a very special measure of responsibility in this direction falls upon the 
Viceroy and upon the Governors of provinces. Throughout our enquiry, 
we have been much impressed by the extent to which the Viceroy can, 
by the display of a personal interest in agricultural matters, forward 
the cause of India's premier industry. But the immediate responsibility 
of provincial Governors in this matter is the heavier, since the services 
most directly concerned with rural development are administered by 
provincial agency, and since it is they alone who provide a link 
between the reserved and the transferred departments. The responsi- 
bility of the Ministers in charge of the transferred departments, which 
include all those most directly concerned with rural welfare, is also a 
heavy one and they will need all the assistance that strong secretariats 
with senior and experienced administrators at their head can give them. 

But though we hold it to be the duty of governments to initiate a 
combined movement for the betterment of the rural population, we 
recognise that success on a large scale can be rendered permanent only 
if the sympathy, interest, and active support of the general public can 
be enlisted. So vast is the population and BO extensive are the areas 
concerned, that no resources which could conceivably be commanded 
by the State would be adequate to the task in hand. 

Our recommendations extend to so wide a field that it has not been 
possible for us to frame any exact estimate of the cost of such of our 
proposals as involve expenditure or to classify them in order of urgency. 
We would express the earnest hope that, as the funds necessary to carry 
out the policy of rural development we have attempted to 
outline become available, the various legislatures will be willing to 
place them at the disposal of the appropriate departments. 
We are confident that the members of those legislatures will play 
their part in creating a public opinion favourable to the advancement 
of a great endeavour. Our enquiry has convinced us that, 
given the opportunity, the cultivators of India will be found 
willing and able to apply in progressive degree the services of science and 
of organisation to the business of agricultural production. 

Abridged Report 91 


(IT* figure refer to pages) 

Admission to, Intermediate science examination should be made qualification for, 68. 
Creation of, 2. 


Degree or diploma course, more attention should be paid to agricultural 

economics, 68. 

Estate management, more attention should be paid to training in, 68. 
Miscellaneous short courses, importance of, 68. 
Practical training, facilities for, should be provided, 69. 

Objects of, 68. 

The Principal, importance of ; should be whole-time officer, 69. 

Other college staff should be carefully selected ; field of selection for, might be 

widened, 69. 

Teaching and research, combination of, beneficial, 69. 
Training of new superior provincial services : 

Post-graduate training after college degree, essential, 69. 

AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT : Famine Commissions of 1880, 1898 and 1901 as 
landmarks in, 1. 

Central : 

Establishment of Pusa, 2. 
Provincial : 

Establishment of the agricultural colleges, 2. 

district Organisation, 2, 


Important section of agricultural departments, 12. 
should be completely Reorganised, 12. 


Aim which agricultural departments should set themselves, 13. 
Desirability of manufacture of new types in India and encouragement of, 13. 
Need for careful selection of engineer in charge of, 13. 



possible methods of establishing closer Contact between, 5. 
Constitution of a new organisation to which both Pusa and the provincial research 
institutions would stand in the same relation preferred, 5. 
Central Research Institution, ee under PUSA. 
Constitutional position, 4. 


Constitution, finance, functions and membership, 5-7. 

Frequency of meetings, 7. 

Standing Finance Committee of, 7. 
Crop Committees : see under thai head. 
Provincial Research Committees, 6. 
Universities, position of, in regard to, 8. 

92 Abridged Report INDEX 



Account of existing Pusa appointments, 84. 

Director and Heads of Sections, 85. 
Need for moat careful selection, 86. 
Pay and provident fund, 85 

Class I officers, recruitment and terms of service, 85. 
Class II officers, recruitment and terms of service, 86-6. 
Indian Agricultural Service, account of, 79. 


Cadre : 

Administrative branch, qualifications and recruitment, 83. 

Research, qualifications, recruitment, post-graduate scholarships, special pay, 81*2* 

Teaching, 82. 

Interchange between branches, 83. 
Pay, 83. 


Directorships of Agriculture, key posts, qualifications, selection, pay and 
additional pension, 80-1. 

Principalships of Agricultural Colleges, importance of, selection, increased pay 

recommended for, 80-1. 
Probationary period, 83. 

Recruitment from abroad, statement of policy regarding, 86 
Relations between, in different provinces, 83. 
Relations with Empire Services, 83. 
Safeguards for conditions of service in, 83. 
Scholarships for post-graduate study, 82. 
Study leave, 83. 


Account of, 79. 

Duties, importance of, 83-4. 

Recruitment, 84. 


Account of, 79-80. 

Duties of, require high qualities, 84. 

Recruitment, 84. 



Excessive numbers of, 20. 

Effect of, in causing further deterioration, 20. 
Management of, 20*1. 

Where good, many fine cattle belonging to well recognised breeds to be found, 21. 
Policy of improvement, four cardinal points in, 21. 
Council of Agricultural Research, will have a representative for, 24. 
Dairying, future arrangements for instruction in, 24. 
Feeding, importance of, 21. 


Improvement possible by use of dried grass, silage, cultivation of leguminous crops, 

etc., 22. 
Grazing grounds, measures for improving existing, 22. 

INDEX Abridged Report 93 


Animal Nutrition Section, 23. 
Dairying and cattle breeding Section, 23. 
Future of, 24. 


Agricultural Departments should be agency for, 23. 
Breeding, policy in, 22. 
Distribution of bulls, 22. 
Magnitude of task, 20-1. 

for Cultivator, 23. 


Essentials for successful scheme of, 23. 
Municipal corporations and, 23. 
Presents problems of great complexity, 23. 

Statistics, 20. 

BOARD OF AGRICULTURE, continuance of, under Council of Agricultural Research*, 
recommended, 8. 


Contagious diseases : control of, outstanding problem for, 28. 

Co-ordination, should be a policy of, between roads and railways, 43. 
Expansion of, in recent years, 42. 
Importance of good, for rural advancement, 42. 
Railways, 43 
Freight lates, see under RAILWAY FREIGHT RATES. 


Deterioration, evidence of, in recent years, 42. 

Finance for, 43. 

Organisation, central and provincial for improving, 42. 


Need for dealing with water hyacinth in Assam, Bengal and Burma, 43. 
Research . . . . . ~ 


Research programme should be worked out by the Council of Agricultural, 
sh, 43. 


Act of 1904, strictly limited to credit, 51. 

Act of 1912, provided for non-credit activities, 51. 

Audit, of healthy societies not a proper charge on public funds, 53. 

Bombay, and 

Burma, governed now by local Acti, 51. 

Concessions to movement, financial, extension of certain, recommended, 53. 

Defects hi, and remedies for, 51-2. 

Land Mortgage Banks, see under FINANCE OF AGRICULTURE, Loxa TEBM CBEDJT. 

Government aid, four ways in which it may be given, 53. 

Honorary workers, place in the movement, 52. 

Importance of the movement in rural development generally, 5. 

Non-credit, description of ; difficulties of ; no substantial progress yet made ; require- 
ments for success, 54. 

REOISTBAB : importance of the post, need for assistants, qualifications for, and- 
tenure, 62. 

Specialist officers, desirability of attaching to Registrar, and especially of attaching 
a deputy director of agriculture should be examined, 55. 

94 . Abridged Report INDEX 



Need for highly efficient and well-trained, in all provinces, 62. 
Duties, and relations with honorary workers, 62. 
Training, procedure in the Punjab and Bombay recommended for adoption 

elsewhere, 62-3. 
Supervising agency, 63. 


Creation of Central Jute Committee recommended, and finance of, 8. 

Areas of principal, 9. 
Improved varieties of : 

Extent of, 11. 

Introduction of, 11. 

Methods of obtaining, 11. 
Protection of, against insect posts, plant diseases, wild animals and vermin, existing 

measures and proposals, 13-4. 


Problems of, in dry and precarious tracts ; need for closer attention from agricultural 
departments, 13. 


CIVIL VETERINARY DEPARTMENT : see under thai head. 


Control of, must be a responsibility of the provincial governments, 30. 
Inoculation against, should be free of charge, 29. 
Losses from, very serious, 28. 

Rinderpest, haemorrhagio septicaemia and foot and mouth disease, chief ,'28. 
Legislation : 
Contagious Diseases of Animals Act for all British India, recommended, 30. 


Measures successful in other countries not practicable in India, 28. 
Protection of the individual animal must be resorted to, 28. 
Serum-alone inoculation, limitation of, 28. 
Serum -simultaneous inoculation, strongly recommended, 29. 
should be Popularised by use in combating outbreaks of, 29. 


Agencies other than departmental : 

Taluka Development Associations and Divisional Boards of Agriculture, Bombay, 

Commended to the notice of other provincial government*, 19. 
Agricultural shows, importance of, 16. 
Conditions essential for successful, 16. 
Co-operative movement in relation to, 19. 
Deputy Director in each province for, recommended, 19. 
Improved implements, 16. 


Concentration, importance emphasised, 19. 
Demonstration farms versus plots, 16-6. 
Demonstration trains, 17. 
Films, lectures, leaflets, limitations of, 17. 
Short courses, value of, 16. 


Awakening of interest in, 61. 

Education most efficient means of improving position, 01* 

INDEX Abridged Report 95 



Connection with Co-operative movement, progress and question of assistance to 
co-operative societies, 64. 


in Agricultural Colleges, see under that head. 
in High Schools, 66. 
in Middle Schools, 

Bombay and Punjab methods described, 64-6. 
Bombay method condemned, 66. 
Punjab method has much to recommend it, 66. 
Descriptive, 62. 
FEMALE, importance of, and methods of stimulating, 63. 


Compulsory system : 

Legislation exists for introduction of, 64. 

Obstacles to introduction of, 64. 

Only means of promoting, 64. 
Co-operative activity in the Punjab, 64 

Statistics of, 62 
UNIVERSITY, see under that head. 


Economic use of, further experiment to determine required, 10. 
Sources of, principal, 10-11. 


Co-operative credit provides only satisfactory means of financing, 60. 


Co-operative movement, best hope of solution of problem of rural, 40. 

Decoan Agriculturists Relief Act, 49. 

Insolvency Act, case for simple rural, should be examined, 49. 

Kamiauti Agreements Act, Bihar and Orissa, 49. 

Knowledge regarding, has steadily increased, 49. 

Legislative measures have so far proved a comparative failure, 49. 

Usurious Loans Act, 47, 49. 


Joint Stock Banks and provision of, 48. 
Land Mortgage Banks, 48, 52. 
Mortgage : 

of agricultural land commonest method, 47. 

Redemption, facilitation of, existing legislation and suggestions, 47. 

Usufructuary, limitation to period of, desirable, 47. 

MONEYLENDERS, provide great proportion of, 47. 
Moneylenders Act, British, 49. 
Moneylenders Bill, Punjab, 49. 


Agriculturists Loans Act, and Land Improvement Loans Act, hare both on the 

whole worked well, 48, 49. 
by larger Landlords, 

Obstacles arising from tenures and tenancy laws, suggestion, 48. 
by Mortgage, see under Long Term Credit. 
Thrift, importance of encouraging, 50. 

Transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculturist*, existing restrictions and question 

96 Abridged Report INDEX 


Deterioration of, from shifting cultivation, etc., remedies for* 26. 
Rectification of, recommendation for, 20. 


Fodder, 25. 
Fuel, 25. 
Grazing, 25. 

Village Forest*, 26. 


Minor forests division, formation of, recommended, 26. 


Touch with Agricultural Departments, suggestion for securing closer, 2t>. 


Development a matter of great importance to agriculturists, 26. 
Utilisation officer should be appointed in every province, 26. 


SuhdtviHion and fragmentation of, a serious obstacle in some province 4 - to agricultural 
improvement, 14. 
Cannes of, 14. 
Remedies for, 14. 


Agricultural Departments and, 74. 

Work to be done by, while economic possibilities are being investigated, 74, 
Economic possibilities of increased production need investigation, 74. 


Obstacles to, cultivation, finance, marketing and transport, 73. 
Surplus, disposal of, 74. 


Abroad, 73. 

Home, more immediately promising, 74. 

V KG STABLES, 73-4. 

, have a wider potential market than fruit, 74. 



Functions of, 88. 

Publicity should be given to facilities offered by, 88. 

Reorganisation of Indian gallery at, should be considered, 88. 


Co-operation of maritime, against introduction of insect peste and plant disease?, 

important, IS. 
Manner in which general agricultural (including veterinary) co-operation can be made 

more effective, early consideration of, hoped for, 87. 

INDEX Abridged Report 97 


Department of, in relation to rural industries, 71. 

Now industries, some suggestions received for, 70. 

Possibilities of improving the condition of the rural population by, extremely limited,, 

VILLAGE, 70-1. 

Organisation of, on co-operative iasis, essential, 71. 

Assistance to industries BO organised, 71 
Ways in whiuh Government can assist industries generally, 71. 


Representation of India on the Permanent Committee, 88. 

Value to India of information collected at, 88. 

Visits of agricultural officers and others to, desirable, 88. 


in Bengal, committee of experts to investigate problem of, should be appointed, 41, 

Central Irrigation Board, description, 40. 

Central Bureau of Irrigation, proposal for, and functions, 40. 


Agency : 

no Advantage seen in transfer from Irrigation to Agricultural Dopaitment, 87. 
no Practical alternative at preHcrit to government control down to field 

distributaries, 38. 
Methods : 

Improvement in nrent years, 37. 
Irrigation Commission's views regaiding, 37. 
Volumetric system, 37. 
Extent of. 3ft. 


Relations with tho cultivators and *ith the Agricultural Department, suggestions, 

39, 40. 

Meetings, periodical, of provincial irrigation engineers, recommended, 40. 
Minor sources, great importance in certain tractp, 38-9. 
Protective, 36-7. 


Establishment of a Central Research Station not recommended, 40. 
Provincial research advocated, 40. 
Universities might assist, 40. 

Review of, in the provinces, with some of the projects, 35-6. 
Tanks, 36. 
Wells, 36. 

Ordinary wells, 39 : 

Suggestions for developing, 39. 
Tube wells, 38 : 

Extent of assistance by Government : 
At present, 38. 

Suggestions regarding future, 38. 
System in the United Provinces, with comment on, 38. 


Emigration outside India, 72. 

Scheme of, to British Guiana worth further investigation, 72. 
Migration within India : 

Government should remove any impediments to, 72. 
Problem of agricultural, to lessen the pressure on the land* 71. 

MO Y 3927.~ 

98 Abridged Report INDBX 


Scheme of Bombay Institute commended to notice of other province*, 88. 


Grain elevators, not recommended and no farther investigation into possibilities called 

for, 46. 

Indian Trade Commissioner, strengthening of organisation recommended, 46. 
Information, absence of, regarding conditions, 44. 
Middlemen, position of, 43-4. 


Appointment of, recommended and duties, 46. 


Establishment of regulated, in which local Governments would take the initiative, 

recommended, 44. 

Management of, 44. 
Foreign, reputation of Indian products in, 46. 


Useful results to be expected from correlation of weather and crop data, 88* 


Proposals for agricultural organisation in, 87. 


Organisation of, 33. 
Research at, 33. 
Staff of, 33. 


Closest co-operation between workers on Animal and Human, desirable, 58. 

Formation of a combined committee recommended, 68. 

Central Institute of Human Nutrition, establishment recommended, 68. 

Fiah, possibilities of development of, as an article of, commended to attention of local 
Governments, 68. 


well orjjanhed and maintain experimental stations and laboratories, 74. 

Representation on the Council of Agricultural Research recommended, 74. 

in close Touch with the Imperial and provincial departments of agriculture, 74. 

Prizes for agricultural improvements, 10. 
PUBLIC HEALTH : see alto under NUTRITION. 

Duties of Government and the people in regard to, 66. 
Interaction between, and agriculture, close, 66. 

Disastrous effects of, 67. 
Need for increased scientific investigation into production, 68. 

Responsibility for production and general control of price and distribution should 
be assumed by the Go ve 

vernment of India, 68. 
Medical Aid Scheme^ Village, 57. 
Midwives and Nurses, schemes for training, 57. 
Organisation of, 57. 

INDEX Abridged Report 99 


Potable water supplies, importance of providing, 57. 
Research work, 67. 

Indian Research Fund Association, 57. 
Sanitary conditions in rural areas bad, 56. 
Work, much being done by Government and private agency, 56. 


Establishment of, 2. 

Site of, 8. 

Sub- 8 tat ions, question of, and finance, 8. 


re-Exam tnation in case of agricultural implements and machinery, suggestion for, 13. 
Concessions recommended for, 

Fodder, 25. 

Fuel, 25. 

REPORT, Scope of, 3. 


Community Board, Central Rural, Punjab, and the Rural Community Councils under 

it, 60-1. 

Co-operation and, formation of Arbitration and Better Living Societies, 01. 
Economic changes influencing, 56. 

Limits to benefits conferred by material improvement, 58. 
Need for guidance in the village, 59. 

Gurpaon scheme, 59. 

Social workers, 60. 
Universities and rural development, 60. 


Must continue to be controlled by agricultural departments, 12, 
Organisation for, in agricultural departments, 12. 


Classification of, 9. 

Erosion, deterioration from in certain cases and remedies for, 9. 
no Probability of further general decline in fertility of, 9. 
further Research necessary, 9. 


Agricultural experiment, appointment of a specialist to Imperial Agricultural Research 

Institute recommended, 77. 
Collection of, no alternative to continued employment of subordinate revenue officials, 

whole Basis of, in India needs widening, 78. 


Cotton, satisfactory state of, 77. 

" Culturable waste and area " not available for cultivation ", 76. 
Factors for, area sown, normal yield and condition estimate, 76. 
Jute, see below. 


All India, 75. 
Provincial, 75. 

Preparation of, suggestions regarding Central Provinces and Burma, 75. 
International Institute at Rome, every opportunity should bo taken to utilise, 78. 


Prepared by Director of Agriculture, Bengal, 76. 
System; 76. 

100 Abridged Report 


Quinquennial census, 76. 
Suggestion regarding, 76. 


Central, reconstitution of statistics as a separate department, proposal, 78. 
Provincial : 
Appointment of well qualified statistical officer at headquarters in each province 

recommended, 77. 
one well qualified Statistical Officer should be appointed without delay in each 

agricultural department, 77. 
Publication*, 76-6. 


Correlation of various data regarding health conditions, valuable work to be done, 77. 
Separation of urban from rural suggested, 77. 


Investigation by Tariff Board recommended in regard to duties paid on imported iron 
and stool 'for agricultural implements, 13. 


Importance of, in rural development, 60, 67. 

Can assist in the solution of Irrigation problems, 40. 

Link between Pusa and, 8. 

ftcscaich, agricultural, hope that universities will take an increasing share in, 8. 


At present totally inadequate, 30. 

Duty of providing, for non-contagious diseases should rest with local bodies when 

noeesaary arrangement* can be made, 30. 
Methods, 30. 
Provision of, for contagious disease must bo a responsibility of the provincial govern- 

ment, 30, 


At present mainly concentrated at the Muktesar Imperial Institute of Veterinary 

Ilonearch, q.v. 33. 
Officers on teaching staff of colleges should undertake* 33. 


Duties and pay, 31. 


Director, duties and pay, 31. 
Principal, duties and pay, 31. 

PROVINCIAL SERVICES, duties and pay, 81. 
Loan to local boards, conditions of, 32. 


College courses, 32. 
Teaching staff, 33. 


Burma Bill for regulating, features of, 45. 

further Investigation into the possibilities of standardising recommended, 45. 






The total cost of the Commission is estimated at 
R. 13,72,734 ( about 102,955). 



GEORGE THE FIFTH, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of 
Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the 
Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, to "* 

Our Right Trustv and Entirely-beloved Cousin Victor Alexander John, 
Marquess of Linlithgow, Officer of Our Most Excellent Order of the 
British Empire ; 

Our Trusty and Well-beloved : 

Sir Henry Staveley Lawrence, Knight Commander of Our Most 
Exalted Order of the Star of India, Indian Civil Service ; 

Sir Thomas Middle ton, Knight Commander of Our Most Excellent 
Order of the British Empire, Companion of Our Most Honourable Order 
of the Bath ; 

Rai Bahadur Sir Lala Ganga Ram, Knight, Companion of Our Most 
Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, Member of the Royal Victorian 
Order ; 

Sir James MacKenna, Knight, Companion of Our Most Eminent Order 
of the Indian Empire, Indian Civil Service ; 

Hubert Calvert, Esquire, Companion of Our Most Eminent Order of 
the Indian Empire, Indian Civil Service ; 

Raja Sri Krishna Chandra Gajapathi Narayana Deo Garu, Raja of 
ParlaJdmedi ; 

Nagendra Nath Gangulee, Esquire, Professor of Agriculture and 
Rural Economy, Calcutta University ; 

Lodhi Karim Hyder, Esquire, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor of 
Economics, Aligarh University, and 

Balkrishna Sitaram Kamat, Esquire : 

Greeting ! 

Whereas We have deemed it expedient that a Commission should 
forthwith issue generally to examine and report on the present conditions 
of agricultural and rural economy in British India, and to make 
recommendations for the improvement of agriculture and to promote 
the welfare and prosperity of the rural population ; in particular, to 
investigate : (a) the measures now being taken for the promotion of 
agricultural and veterinary research, experiment, demonstration and 
education ; for the compilation of agricultural statistics ; for introduction 


-of new or better crops and for imp 
farming and breeding of stock ; (b) the existing methods of transport and 
marketing of agricultural produce and stock ; (c) the methods by which 
agricultural operations are financed and credit afforded to agriculturists ; 
(d) the main factors affecting the rural prosperity and welfare of the 
agricultural population ; and to make recommendations subject to the 
limitations that it will not be within the scope of the Commission's 
duties to make recommendations regarding the existing systems of laud 
ownership and tenancy or of assessment of land revenue and irrigation 
charge*, or the existing division of functions between the Government 
of India and local Governments ; but the Commission shall be at liberty 
to suggest means whereby the activities of the Government* in India 
may beat be co-ordinated and to indicate directions in which the 
Oovernment of India may usefully supplement the activities of the local 
Governments : 

Now Know Ye, that We, reposing great trust and confidence in your 
knowledge and ability, have authorised and appointed, and do by these 
Presents authorise and appoint you, the said Victor Alexander John, 
Marquess of Linlithgow (Chairman) ; Sir Henry Staveley Lawrence ; 
Sir Thomas Middleton ; Sir Lala Ganga Ram : Sir James MacKenrm : 
Hubert Calvert ; Raja Sri Krishna Chandra Gajapathi Narayana Deo 
Garu ; Nagendra Nath Gangulee ; Lodhi Karim Hyder and Balkrishna 
Sitaram Kamat to be Our Commissioners for the purposes of the 
said inquiry : 

And for the better effecting the purposes of this Our Commission, We 
do by these Presents give and grant unto you, or any three or more of 
you, full power, at any place in Our said United Kingdom of Great Bri- 
tain and Ireland, or in India, to call before you such persons as you shall 
judge likely to afford you any information upon the subject of this Our 
Commission ; and also, whether in Our said United Kingdom or in India, 
to call for information in writing, to call for, have access to and examine 
all such books, documents, register* and records as may afford you the 
fullest information on the subject, and to inquire of and concerning the 
premises by all other lawful ways and means whatsoever : 

And We do by these Presents authorise and empower you, or any one 
or more of you, to visit and personally inspect such places as you may 
deem it expedient so to inspect for the more effectual carrying out of the 
purposes aforesaid : 

And We do by these Presents will and ordain that this Our Commission 
shall continue in full force and virtue, and that you, Our said Commis- 
sioners, or any three or more of you, may from time to time proceed 
in the execution thereof, and of every matter and thing therein 
contained, although the same be not continued from time to time by 

And We do further ordain that you, or any three or more of you, have 
liberty to report your proceedings under this Our CommJBsicu from time 
to time, if you shall judge it expedient so to do : 


And Oar further mil and pleasure is that you do, with aa little delay 
as possible, report to Us under your hands and seals, or under the hands 
and seals of any three or more of you, your opinion upon the matters 
herein submitted for your consideration. 

Given at Our Court at Windsor, the twenty-third day 
of April, 1926, in the sixteenth > ear of Our Reign. 

By His Majesty's Command, 
W. Joynson-Hicks. 

MO T **6 




Terms of Reference, Acknowledgments and Iti nerary . . 1 



1 The Indian village . . . . . . . . * 5 

2 Lack of communications and of org'tni^ed trade and commerce . . o 

3 Lack of internal security . . . . . . . . 7 

4 Famines . . , . . . 7 

5 Establishment of internal peace and security . . S 
45 Evolution of land revenue system . . . . 1) 

7 Development and improvement of communicat . , 10 

8 Irrigation works . . . . . . 11 

9 .Development of overseas communicationf* . . 11 

10 The absence of large scale farming in Jnd m . . 12 

11 The present economic position .. .. .. 12 

12 The present agricultural posit ion .. .. 13 


13 Agricultural policy prior to I H80 .. .. .. 15 

14 Agricultural policy, 1880.81 .. . .. .. lij 

15 Agricultural policy, 18 1-1905 .. . .. 17 

16 The Famine Commission of 1901 .. .. .. 20 

17 Tho position in 1005 .. .. . . .. 20 

Agricultuie m tho provinces prior to IW.*) 

18 <i) Bombay . . .. . . .. 21 

1!) (it) Madias .. .. . . . . 22 

20 (m) The United Province* ... 24 

21 (tr) Bengal . . . . . . . 25 

22 (r) Assam . . . . . . . . 20 

23 (ri) The Central Province* . . . . 2<t 

24 (m) The Punjab . . . . . . . 27 

25 (rm) Burma . . . . . . . 28 

20 The position in the provinces in l9O, r > .. .. .. 21* 

The reorganisation of 1906 

27 (t) Imperial 

The Pusa Research Institute . . . . . . 2!> 

28 The present position of Pusa . . . . . . . 30 

29 Other activities of the imperial Department of Agriculture . . **1 

30 The Indian Central Cotton Committee . . . . . 32 
The reorganisation of 1905 

31 (ti) Provincial . . . . . . M 

32 The constitutional changes of 1919 . . . . . . 3.3 

33 The present position of the Indian Agricultural Service . . 30 

34 The work of the Agricultural and Veterinary .Departments . . '37 



35 The constitutional position . , . . . . . . 38 

36 O/ganUation for agricultural research in Canada . . . . 39 



37 Organisation for agricultural research in the United States . . 40 

33 Organisation for agricultural research in Australia . . . . 4% 

39 The problem in India . . . . . . . . 44 

40 The position of Pusa . . . . . . . . 46- 

41 Constitution of crop committee* .. .. .. 46 

42 Constitution of a governing body for Posa . . . . 48 
Constitution and function;* of an Imperial Council of Agricul- 
tural Research 

43 () Promotion, guidance and co-ordination of agricultural 

research . . . . . . . . 48 

44 (i) Promotion, guidance and control of veterinary research 50 

45 (m) Training of research workers . . . . . . 50 

46 (ID) Clearing house of information . . . . . . 51 

47 (t>) Publication bureau . . . . . . . . 51 

48 (vi) Meetings of experts . . . . . . . . 52 

49 Position of the Council in regard to research . . . . 52 

50 fCxpenditure from central revenues on agricultural research . . 53 
Personnel of the Council 

51 (i) The Chairman .. .. .. .. 53 

52 (?t) The whole-time members of the Council and the Secre- 

tariat .. ., . .. 5-'* 

53 (w) T!M- members of the Council .. . . >t 

64 Committees of the Council .. .. . .. 55 

55 The headquarter* of the Council . . . . . 56 

50 Flexibility of the constitution proposed for the Count '1 . . 66 

57 Provincial Committees . . . . . . . . 67 

58 The Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India . . 58 

59 Tho position of Pusa and the qualifications of the Director . . 58 
({0 Puna as an educational centre . . . . . 59 

61 Affiliation of Piwa to a university .. .. .. 59 

62 The position of the universities in regard to agricultural research 60 

63 Tho provincial research institutes .. .. .. 61 

64 Internal co-ordination and co-operation in research institutes . . 61 

65 Constitution of ciop committees .. .. .. 62 

66 Establishment of other central research institution* . . . . 64 

67 The Board of Agriculture . . . . . . . . 64 

68 Summary of conclusions and recommendations . . . . 66 


69 Scope of the chapter . . . . . . . . 69 

70 The principal crops of India . . . . . . . . 69 

71 Tho HUIS of India . . . . . . . 70 

72 Tho * ml ' soils of tlio crystalline tract . . . . . . 70 

73 The Hack cotton or rnjnr soils .. .. .. 71 

74 The alluvi.-d soils . . . . . . . 72 

76 The latente soils . . . . . . . 73 

76 Soi! furveys .. .. .. * 74 

77 Deterioration of oil . . . . . . . . 75 

78 Research on soils and soil conditions . . . . . . 76 

79 Soil erosion .. .. .. .. .. 79 

80 Fertilisers .. .. .. .. .. 80 

81 M an u rial experiments .. .. .. .. 81 

Internal sources of supply and their development- 
s' (a) Farmyard manure . . . . . . . . 82 

83 (b) Composts . . . . . . . . 83 

84 (c) Night soil . , . . . . . . 84 

85 (d) Leguminous crop* . . . . . . . . 85 

86 () Green manures . . . . . . . . * 85 

87 (/) Oil-cakes . . . . . . . 87 

88 (y) Sulphate of ammonia . . . . . . 89 

89 (A) Artificial nitrogenous fertilisers . . . . . . ' 90 



90 Central organisation for research on fertilisers . . . . 91 

91 Bones and bone meal . . . . . . 92 

92 Fisb manures .. .. .. .. - - 3 

93 Natural phosphates . . . . . . . . !>a 

94 Legislation against adulteration of fertilisers . . . 94 

95 Railway rates on fertilisers .. .. .. .. <4 

Introduction of improved varieties of crops 

96 (t) The present position . . . . . . . . 94 

97 () Future work . . . . . . . . 96 

98 (m) Appointment of crop specialists . . . . . . 98 

99 Introduction of new crops . . . , . . 93 

100 Spread of improved varieties . . . . . . . . 100 

Distribution of seed 

101 (t) The problem . . . . . . . . * 101 

102 () The present organisation . . . . . 102 

103 (MI) The policy to be folio wc<! . . . . . 10o 

104 Rotations and tillage . . . . . . . 10H 

106 Agricultural implements . . . . . . . 107 

106 Organisation of the agricultural engineering section . . . 109 

107 Scope of research work on agricultuiul implement* ami 

machinery .. .. .. .. .. HO 

108 Possibilities of power machinery . . . . . . H3 

109 Railway rates on agricultural machinery and implements . . 114 

110 Rebate of the import duty on mm and steel used in the manu- 

facture of agricultural implements and machinery . . . . 114 

111 ^Simultaneous introduction of improved varieties of crops and 

improved methods of cultivation .. .. .. Htf 

112 Problems of cultivation in dry and precarious tracts . . HO 
Crop protection 

113 (a) External .. .. .. .. .. H? 

114 (b) Internal protection 

(t) Protection against pests and diseases . . . . H8 

lid (it) Protection against deterioration flue to mixing of seed. 120 

11(5 (t) Protection against wild animals and vermin .. 121 

117 Summary of conclusions and recommendations . . . . 122 


118 Scope of the chapter . . . . . . . . 129 

119 Sulwdi vision of holdings of permanent right-holders .. .. 131 

120 Subdivision of cultivation . . . . . . . . 133 

121 Fragmentation of right-holders' holdings . . . . 133 

122 Fragmentation of cultivation . . . . . . . . 135 

123 Remedial measures . . . . . . 130 

124 Consolidation of holdings . . . . . . - 138 

125 Thn Central Provinces Act . . . . . . . . 140 

126 The Bombay Small Holdings Bill .. .. .. 141 

127 General recommendations . . . . . . . . 142 

128 Summary of conclusions and recommendations . . . . 143 


129 Scope of the chapter ., . . .. .. 145 

130 Essentials for successful demonstration . . . . . . 145 

131 The demonstration farm and the demonstration plot. . . . 147 


132 The UPC of experimental farms for demonstration work 140 

133 The uae of departmental **d farms for demonstration work . . 149 

134 Financial return from departmental farm a . . 150 

135 Hhort courses on government faun* . . . . HW 
130 The demonstration plot . .. 15J 

137 (Guarantee against loss . .. 15^ 

138 Demonstration of improved implements .. . . 152 

139 Agricultural shows .. .. .. 153 

140 Publications .. .. . . . .. H* 

141 Other forms of propaganda . . . . . . 156 

14^ Agricultural associations . .. . 157 

143 The co-operative movement in i elation to agricultural propaganda J3N 

144 The taluka development nsso lationi and divisional boards in 

Horn hay .. .. .. . I5H 

I4f> Applicability of the Born hay Hystcrn to other pioviix es . . 101 

146 Utility of the co-operative < redit society in ndvarx nig airricul- 

tural improvement .. .. .. M- 

1 f7 Necessity for the concentration of demonstration and propaganda 

work' . .. .. . -. 12 

148 Appointment of an expert officer for pi opaganda work .. Itt3 

149 Propaganda of other departments fonne<tcd with rural welfare . . 164 

150 Pi i/i H for agricultural improvement .. .. . 164 

151 Siiinrnurv of n>ii< Itmions and recommendations . .. 16ft 



ir>L> SO,H. of thethu|t(r .. .. .. 168 

153 Total numbers of h\' 'took ui India .. .. .. 1<>8 

154 I'elatne importaiK t of the dillcient t lastw^s of livestock . . 168 
15T> DiMtulmlum of sheep and K<mU .. . 169 

156 Karly Hheep breeding experiments . .. .. 171 

157 Reasons foi past failures . . . . . . 17w 

158 ( Vniditiont n< * e-sary for su cross in sheep breediri'/ . . . 173 
15J) (J<wi hiocd'Ni; .. .. . . .. 

160 Total IIHH>IH>I of tattle and buffaloes . . 

161 Distribution of cattle in Indian piovmers . . 76 
1612 Thain* ter ot grazing lands in India . . . . 78 
163 Value to l>e attached to figures . 70 
1U4 Distribution of t ln>sos of cattle in Indian provinces 181 
16f> Intiuem e of -oils and vTojm on cattle distribution . . 184 
UMl ( 'at tie population of India. Holland and Kgypt . . 188 

167 (\nupariHon of Lvallpur (Punjab) and (iharbieh (l^ouer Egypt ) . 189 

168 I^xistence of a vicious circle m India . , . . . I'M 

169 Deterioration of Indian cattle. . .. .. . 1 ( 1 

170 Kssentiitl point* in a policy of cattle improvement .. .. 1*2 

171 The cultivator as a stock manager . . . . . . 192 

172 The rations of plough cattlo .. .. .. . 192 

173 Bullock labour : a heavy item in the cost of prod net ion . . 196 

174 Influence of exeessho number* on treatment of ccrws I9li 

175 Management of buffaloes .. .. .. . 196 

176 The overkt ocking of the common grazing land . . . . 197 

177 High quality of mmiy Indian breeds .. .. . 198 

178 Improvement of cattle : difficulties facing the cultivator .. 199 

179 Suggestions for improvement in cattle feeding .. .. 201 

180 The question of additions to grazing areas . . . . 201 

181 Necessity for improvement of existing grazing resources . 203 

182 Oat tie of non-cultivators .. .- . 203 

183 Kegulation of grazing . . - . . . . 203 

184 Dry fodder storage .. .. .. ... 205 

185 Great possibilities of HI lage .. .. .. .. 206 



186 Possibility of improving the quality and utilisation of fodders . . 209 

187 Green fodder crops .. .. .. .. 209 

188 Improvement of cattle by careful breeding .. .. 2H 

189 Number of bulls distributed from cattle breeding farms .. 212 
100 The Hissar cattle farm, Punjab .. .. .. 214 

191 Cattle breeding in the United Provinces .. .. .. 216 

192 Cattle breeding in Bombay .. .. .. .. 217 

193 Cattle breeding in the Central Provinces .. .. .. 219 

194 Cattle breeding in Madras .. .. .. .. 220 

195 Cattle breeding in Indian States .. .. .. 221 

196 The market for milk and milk products in India . . . . 223 

197 Cat tip- breeding policy in relation to dairying : dual purpose breeds. "224 

198 The need for greater attention to buffalo breeding .. .. 227 

199 Production of milk for cities .. .. .. .. 227 

200 Cross breeding and urban milk supply . . . . . . < 2110 

201 Municipal control of milk and ghi supplies . . . . . . 230 

202 Co-operative breeding societies .. .. .. .. 234 

20.') Livestock shows .. .. .. .. .. 235 

204 Export trade in livestock .. .. .. .. 235 

205 Herd hooks . . . . . . . . . 236 

206 Milk recording societies .. .. .. .. 230 

207 Tin- scrub bull pest .. .. .. .. .. 237 

208 The control of livestock improvement .. .. . . 2.')9 

Scientific investigation 

209 (i) Animal nutrition .. .. .. .. 240 

210 (u) Animal breeding .. .. .. 242 

Jll The Institute of Animal Husbandly and Dairying, 

Bangalore . . . . . . . . . . 245 

212 Co ordination of work by the Central (Joveinwent . . . . 248 

213 Summan of conclusions and recommendations .. .. 2f,0 



214 Scope of the rhaptci . . .. .. 257 

215 Statistics .. .. .. .. .. 257 

21* Protc< tion of the forest* . . . . . . . . 258 

Utilisation of forests for agricultural purponcs- 

217 (i) (General principles .. .. .. .. 259 

218 (u) Ura/Jntf .. .. . . .. .. 200 

219 (ut) Fodder .. .. ., .. .. 201 

220 (ui) Fuel from existing foiests .. .. .. 263 

221 (r) New sources of wood and charcoal for fuel . . . . 204 

222 (M) Timber foi general agricultural purroses .. .. 205 

223 (?'it) Supply of leaf mould . . . . . . 205 

224 (*'***) Forest industries . . . . . . . 2<U> 

225 (is) Disafforestation to promote irrigation works. . .. i'fift 
Soil protection and improvement 

226 (i) Permanent afforestation .. .. .. 266 

227 (a) Temporary afforestation . . . . . . 267 

228 (tit) Shifting cultivation . . .. .. 267 

Forest administration 

229 () Rcclassifieation of forest lands . . . . . . 208 

230 (it) Village forests and forest panchayats . . . . 270 

231 (ut) Necessity for reclassifieation of functions of forest officer^. 27 J 

232 (it>) Formation of minor forests divisions . . . . 273 

233 (v) Relations between the forest and agricultural departments 275 

234 Summary of conclusions and recommendations .. .. 276 


235 Scope of the chapter . . . . . . . . 278 

2.16 The ravages of disease .. .. .. .. 278 



Control of contagious disease* 

237 () General . . . . . . . . . . 281 

238 (i) Control of rinderpest . . . . . . 282 

230 (m) Experience in the Mysore State of the aerum f^multa- 
neoua method of inoculation for rindnpest .. 286 

240 (it?) Kinks involved in serum-simultaneous inoculation . . 286 

241 (v) Difficulties likely to be encountered in an inoculation 

campaign . . . . . . . . 287 

242 (tn) Policy to be followed in combating rinderpest . . 288 

243 (vii) Fees for inoculation . . ' . . . . . . 289 

244 (vm) Compulsory inoculation . . . . . . 280 

245 (ix) Conclusion . . . . . . . . 290 

246 Legislation again*! disease . . . . . . . . 290 

247 The present position of veterinary aid . . . . . . 293 

24.S Work of veterinary dispensaries . . . . . . 296 

240 Work of the provincial veterinary departments . . . . 296 

250 Strength of the veterinary services . . . . . . 298 

Organisation of the veterinary services 

251 () The superior ser\ ices .. .. .. 299 

252 (ii) The subordinate veterinary services .. .. 301 

25'1 Voter mary reserve corps of assistant surgeons .. .. 303 

25 J Private associat ion s and veterinary aid .. .. .. 304 

255 The training of veterinary practitioners . . . . . . 306 

250 The training of veterinary assistant surgeons . . . . 307 

2f>7 Training of th provim ial \etermary services . . . . 308 

258 Establishment of a central veterinary college . . . . 309 

259 The staff of the veterinary colleges . . . . . . 310 

Research on diseases of animals 

2<JO (t) Introductory remarks .. .. .. 312 

2(11 (it) Research in the piovinces .. .. .. 312 

2tt2 (tii) Tho Imperial Institute of Veterinary Research . . 312 

2ft3 (tv) The financial position of Muktevar .. .. 317 

204 The relat ion* of the Government of Inuia to the provinces in veteri- 
nary matters . . . . . . . . . . 317 

265 Summary of conclusions and recommendations . . . . 318 


2W> Introductory .. .. .. .. .. 324 

207 Statistical .. .. .. .. .. 326 

208 General description of irnpatn n vorki- .. .. 327 
Possible developments of irrigation under canals 

2tt9 () The Punjab . . . . . . . . 328 

270 (*) Smd .. .. .. .. .- 329 

271 (in) The. United Provinces .. .. .. 330 

272 (v) Madras . . . . . . . . . . 330 

273 (v) The Bombay Presidency Pro pel .. .. .. 332 

274 Wells and tanks . '. . .' . . . . . . 332 

275 New irrigation schemes .. .. .. .. 333 

270 Extension of protective irrigation .. .. 333 

277 Distribution of water .. .. .. .. 336 

278 Agency of distribution .. ., .. .. 337 

279 Minor works ,. .. .. .. .. 338 

280 Tube wells .. .. .. .. .. 340 

281 Ordinary wells .. .. .. .. .. 342 

282 Other sources .. .. .. .. .. 344 

283 Relations between the agricultural and the irrigation departments. 346 

284 The irrigation departments and the cultivator . . * . 346 
286 Central organisation . . . . . . . . 347 

286 The need for irrigation research .. .. .. .. 349 

287 Organisation of irrigation research . . . . . . 360 

288 Necessity for a central station for irrigation research . . . . 362 

289 Drainage surveys .. . . .. . ' 363 



Irrigation in Sind 

290 (t) Problems and possibilities .. .. .. 864 

291 (tt) The principle* to be adopted in disposing of govern- 

ment land . . . . . . 356 

292 The position in Bengal . . . . . . . . 358 

293 Irrigation in the North-West Frontier Province . . . . 361 

294 Irrigation in Baluchistan . . . . . . . . 362 

295 Hydro-electric development .. .. .. .. 362 

296 Summary of conclusions and recommendations 364 



297 Scope of the chapter .. .. .. .. 3o7 

208 The importance of good communication* . . . . . . 367 

299 A comparison with other countries . . . . . . 36't) 

300 Historical .. .. .. .. .. 370 

301 The present position . . . . . . . . 370 

302 The development of motor transport . . . . . . 372 

303 Road boards in the provinces .. .. .. .. 372 

304 The Road Development Committee . . . . . . 372 

305 Necessity for the development of loadn other than main roads . . 373 
300 The iiuanco of road develop ment . . . . . . 374 

307 The development of village roads . . . . . . 374 

308 Necessity for a qualified district boaid engineering stiift . . 376 

309 Interference of roads nit h drainage lineb .. ., .. 376 

310 Road budges . . . . . . . . . . 376 

311 Railway development .. .. .. .. 370 

312 Roads and railways: a policy of co-ordination .. .. 377 

313 Freight rates .. .. .. .. .. 377 

314 The development of fruit arid mi IK trade .. . .. 378 

315 The transport of cattle .. .. .. .. 371) 

316 Co-operation between tho railway and agiicultural derailments .. 379 

317 Other forms of transport .. .. ,. .. 380 

318 Waterways .. .. .. .. .. 380 

319 Post and telegraph offices .. .. .. .. 381 

320 Marketing : some general consideration . . . . . . 382 

321 Descriptive .. .. .. .. .. 384 

322 Absence of information m legard to maikctiiiK eonditJoiiH .. St-6 

323 The marketing of cotton in Khandesh . . . . . . 385 

324 The marketing of jute in Bengal . . . . . . 386 

325 The marketing of rioo in Buima . . . . . . 387 

326 Indebtedness in relation to the use of markets . . . . 388 

327 The importance of properly organist d markets . . . . 388 

328 The Be ran market system and the Bombay market legislation . . 389 

329 The restriction of regulated markets to cotton . . . . 360 

330 The necessity for special legislat ion .. .. .. 391 

331 Optional establishment of markets .. .. .. 392 

332 Relation.-* between local authorities and regulated markets . . 392 

333 The constitution of the market committee find other details of 

management . . . . . . . . . . 393 

334 Settlement of disputes . . . . . . . , 394 

335 Publication of marketing information . . . . . . 394 

336 Prohibition of brokers from acting in a dual capacity . . . . 395 

337 Storage accommodation . . . . . . . . 395 

338 The use of markets for purposes of propaganda . . . . 395 

339 Standardisation of weights and measures . . . . . . 396 

340 Reputation of Indian agricultural products in the world's markets, 398 

341 Remedies for unsatisfactory quality . . . . * . 401 

342 Co-operative sale .. .. .. .. .. 403 

343 Auction sales . . . . . . . . . . 403 

344 Grain elevators . . . . . . . . . . 404 



345 Stun dardi nat ion of on tamer* . . . , . . 407 

346 Cold Htorage .. .. 408 

Ml Market aurveyK . . . . . . . . . . 408 

34K Appointment of an expert marketing oftuer . . . . 410 

341 Tho Indian Trade ('ommifisioner m London .. . 411 

350 Summary of conelu*iona arid recommendotMns 412 


TlIK FlNAM-l? Of AfJRK I tll'RK 

351 Scope of the < hnptfr . . . . . . 416 

Kixed capital - 

352 (i) Mortgage ciedit .... 418 

353 Nori-termmahle mortgages .. . 41M 

354 Faeilitie* for redemption of moit'iagcH .. 4)'. 

355 Statutory restrictions on alienation of land .. . 420 

356 (tt) Pnvuteor joint itork <i-dit .. .. . 4i!J 

.'J57 K\jH?riein'e, in Kgypt . . . . . . . . 423 

3r> (if) Tho (MpilHJi ,1 and the land.'ojd .. .. .. 425 

.'!/)!> (</') The Land lmt>ro\ement Louns A< t . . 427 

'Mn (/) MiH<vIlneou' . .. . 428 

Ml (Vpital for etinert ne^U . .. .. 4*H 

3(52 Tlu A^rieulttinstb 1 oans \ t . . 421 

38 IndeModni'SM .. .. .. 431 

3f K:iiluro of |or! t* ion . .. J:i 

36T> The THUMOIIH LimiiH \ t .. .. 438 

MM >fonp>lendeis' A*tH . .. .. .. .. 41W 

3(i7 Kunil hiMil\<>ney .. .. .. . 440 

'MX UepoU*- on monrylendinK 4J1 

3^9 Surnm u v of eonchi^toMH nnd reeonunendatifii') . 442 



370 Kailx hist 01 > .. .. .. 444 

371 The v i> oprraliv ( u Jit s\ ^teni . .. . 14.1 

372 The pte-uMit po-tn n f the imnement . . . <4(> 

373 DefertM .. .. . .. 448 

374 Kwdie< . . . . . 150 

375 Co-operative unions and institute* .. .. 152 
370 The Registrar .. .. .. .. . 453 

377 The itaff of the department .. .. .. f.V> 

378 (overnm^nt aid . . . . . . . . 457 

870 (jovernment roiieewioni .. .. . I"H 

380 The position of government oftieers .. .. 4f/) 

381 ]and mortpitfo hanks . . . . . . . . 40O 

382 Ne<'esity for npeeia) leilation .. . . 403 

383 Tho delwnt lire prohlem .. .. . . . 463 

384 Tho need for eaut ion . . . . . 4ft5 

Non-eredit co-operation 

385 () Objects .. .. .. .. . . 467 

386 (it) Ha great importance, . . . . 468 

387 (m) Societies for put chase and sale .. . . . . 470 

%< 88 (iV) Provision of expert advice . . . . . . 472 



389 Conferences of Registrars, . . . . . . . . 475 

390 Con eluding re mark* .. .. . , .. 473 

391 Summary of coneluMor^ and reoommendatioi s .. .. 474 


392 Scope of the chapter .. .. .. .. 477 

393 General features of rural life . . . . . . . . 477 . 

Signs of change t 

394 (i) Economic .. .. .. .. 479 

395 (ti) Administrative .. .. .. .. 480 

Public Health 

396 Its lolevance to the enquiry and its intrinsic impoitaiuc .. 481 

397 The interaction of agriculture and public health . . . . 482' 

398 Policy and progress . . . . . . . . 483 

399 Principles of public health administration .. .. .. 483 

400 The provincial public health departments: objects and gent ml 

organisation . . . . . . . . . . 483 

401 Madras District Health Scheme . .. . 484 

402 The Indian Research Fund Association : it* organisation and -work 485 

403 Village Medical Aid Scheme in Jtomhay . . . . . 480 

404 Subsidies to private medical pract it lorcrs .. . .. 480 

405 MidvuvcH .. . .. .. .. 487 

400 Wells .. .. .. .. .. 48H 

107 The efforts of non -official agencies to impiovethe health and welfare 

of the country-aide .. .. .. .. 48N 

Typical examples of such efforts 

408 (t) The SevaSadan Society .. .. .. 489 

409 (tt) The Co-operative Anti-Malaiia Society of Bengal . . 489 

410 (m) Rural reconstruction ccutienof the Indian Y. M. (\ A. . . 489 
Malaria and quinine 

411 (i) General .. .. .. . . . . 490 

412 (it) The need for increa-ed scientific investigation . . 491 

413 Public Health Conclusions .. .. . .. 492 


414 (t) Human nutrition .. .. .. . . 493 

41f> (it) Fihh as an article of diet .. .. .. 495 

410 (m) Animal nutrition . . . . . . . 490 

417 (tt;) Conclusions . . . . . . . . 490 


418 Importance of good communications .. .. .. 498 

419 The adjustment of village life to changing (ondit ions .. .. 408 

420 The outlook of the cultivator .. .. .. . 499 

Village Guidance 

421 (t) Objects . . , . . . . . . . T>00 

422 (u) Agencies . . . . . . . . 500 

423 (HI) The " Guide " idea . . . . . . . 501 

424 (tv) Gurgaon uplift .. . .. .. 502 

425 (t>) Links between the \illagc and the town , . . . 503 

426 (wi) The universities .. .. .. .. 503 

427 (ft*) The caae for economic enquiry . . . . . . 504 

Punjab Central Rural Community l^mrd and RUIH! Community 

428 (t) Descripthe .. .. .. . 505 

429 (it) Conclusion . . . . . . . . 505 

430 Better Living societies . . . . . . . . 60(5 

431 Litigation and arbitration .. .. .. .. 500- 



The depressed classes 

432 () General . . . . . . . . . . 508 

433 (u) Difficulties confronting the social reformer .. .. 509 

434 (in) Policy to be pursued . . . . . . 509 

435 Summary of conclusions and recommendations . . . . 510 



436 Scope of the chapter . . . . . . . . 513 

437 General features of educational administration . . . . 514 

43S Functions of local authorities .. .. .. .. 515 

430 Importance of the inspectorate .. .. .. .. 515 

140 Statistical .. .. .. .. .. 5]fl 

411 Primary education with reference to an increase in literacy . . 510 

412 Reasons for the unsatisfactory state of primary education . . 520 
443 Wastage in the primary school . . . . . . . . 500 

414 Pom tie education .. .. .. .. .. 501 


146 () Compulsion . . . . . . . . 523 

14(1 (it) The introduction of a contract system . . . . 624 

411 (it) Improvements in organisation .. .. ., 505 

448 The teacher and the curriculum . . . . . . r>27 

111) Adult education .. .. .. .. . 529 

450 Secondary education . . . . . . . . gjjj 

151 Tm^rovemonts in secondary education .. .. .. 532 

452 Agricultural education in secondary schools .. .. 532 

453 The Bombay typo of agricultural school . . . . . . 533 

464 Schools of the Bombay type in other provinces . . . 533 

465 The Punjab type . . . . . . . . . 534, 

456 Criticism of the, Bombay type . . . . . . . 535 

457 The -vd vantages of the Punjab type . . . . . . 537 

458 School farms nenu school gardens .. .. .. jjjjg 

150 Kn^lish in vernacular middle Hchools .. . .. 539 

t<U) !duoatton in relation to rural environment . . . . 539 

161 High schools .. .. .. .. m t 540 

462 Technical education . . . . . . . . . , 54 j 

463 The universities .. .. .. tt " W2 

461 Some recent developments of university education . . . . ^43 

465 Affiliation of agricultural institutions to universities , . . . 543 

466 Influence of universities on rural development . . . . 544 

467 The agricultural colleges .. .. .. .. 545 

468 Objects of tho agricultural colleges as set out in the college 

prospectuses . . . . . . . . ^ > ^jg 

46M Conditions in tho colleges .. .. .. tm 347 

470 Objects of the colleges .. .. ,. [ t 547 

471 Qualifications for admission to agricultural colleges and the dura- 

tion of tho course . . . . . . . . % , 549 

The college curriculum 

472 () The degree or diploma course . . . . . . 550 

473 (u) The two years' short course .. .. .. 551 

474 (iie) Miscellaneous short courses .. .. .. 551 

475 The portion of tho Mandalay College . . . . . . 552 

476 Practical training . . . . . . . . . . $M 

Tho college staff 

477 (i) The principal .. .. .. .. 553 

478 (it) The teaching and research staff .. .. .. 554 

470 Combination of research and teaching . . . . . . 555 

480 Training of the new superior provincial services .. ., 555 

481 Openings in other departments for passed students from the 

colleges .. .. .. .. .. 1^57 

482 Higher agricultural education in Bengal, Bihar and Orisa* and 

A<WAn > .. ,. ., 557 

483 Conclusion . . . . . . t . tm g0 

484 Summary of conclusions and recommendations '. . ! ! 560 





Introduct ion 

485 (i) General industrial policy . . . . . . 564 

486 (it) Scope of the chapter . . . . . . . . 564 

487 Distribution of industries . . . . . . . . 506 

488 The amount of spare time at the cultivator's disposal . . . , 566 

489 Classification of industries . . . . . . . . 56ft 

Roral industries of the factory type 

490 (i) Cotton ginneries, rico'mtlls. etc-. . , . . . . 667 
41)1 (ii) Manufacture of agricultural implements .. .. 567 

492 (tii) Paper manufacture . . . . . . . . 568 

493 (iv) Miscellaneous . . . . . . . , 68 

Village industiie* 

494 (t) The village artisan . . . . . . . . 568 

495 (it) The handloom, pottery and rope-making industries 569 

496 (tii) Sericulture * . . . . . , . 570 

497 (iv) Poultry rearing . . . . . . . . 571 

(0) Lac 

498 (a) General . . . . . . . . 572 

499 (6) Research and organisation .. .. .. 573 

500 Rural industries : general oom-lmjons .. .. .. 574 

501 Co-operative societies or villige industries . .. .. 576 

302 Nature of spare- time occupation .. .. .. 576 

/>03 Advantages of seasonal migration of labour from rural to urhnn 

areas . . . . . . . . . . 577 

Department of Industrie* 

o04 (i) Policy . . . . . . . . . . 677 

505 (i) Personnel . . . . ' . . . . . . 670 

506 Agricultural labour . . . . . . . . . . 579 

o07 Advantages of mobility of labour . . . . . . 680 

~>08 Legislation a?aint m^vem i nt of labour . . . . . . 681 

509 Factors lim ting movement of labour .. .. .. 681 

f10 Possibilities of overseas emigration .. .. .. 683 

oil Summary of conculsions and recommendations . . . . 585 


512 Introductory .. .. .. .. .. 688 

513 Scope of the chapter . . . . . . . . 589 

Fruit culture 

T>14 (i) Production . . . . . . . 589 

515 (it) Transport .. .. .. .. 591 

516 (tit) Marketing . . . . . . . . 592 

617 Vegetable* .. .. .. .. .. 594 

518 The agricultural departments and horticulture .. .. 695 

5 1 9 General conclusions . . . . . . . . . . 596 

520 Plantations: general .. .. .. .. 597 

521 The importance of plantations to India .. .. .. 697 

522 Summary of conclusions and recommendations . . . . 698 


523 Scope of the chapter .. .. .. .. 600 

524 Historical .. . . . . .. .. 600 

526 Publications .. .. .. .. .. 601 



Cultivation and crop statistics (ordinary) 

526 (i) Classification of area . . . . . . . . 604 

527 (H) Statistics of crop areas . . . . . . 606 

528 (w) The normal yield . . . . . . . . 606 

520 (iv) The condition estimate . . . . . . 608 

Crop statistics (special) 

530 () Tea, coffee and rubber , . . . . . 608 

531 (u) Jute .. .. .. .. .. 609 

532 (Hi) Cotton . . . . . . . . . . 61O 

533 Trade statistics . .. .. .. .. 611 

534 Livestock statistics . .. .. .. 612 

535 Vital statistics .. .. .. .. .. 614 

636 Hural welfare .. .. .. .. .. 615 

537 Purposes for which government statistics are collected . . 615 

538 Provincial statistical organisation .. .. .. 617 

539 Central statistical organisation .. .. . ., 61!> 

540 Relations with the statistical branch of the International Institute 

at (tome . . . . 621 

G4i Concluding observations .. .. . 622 

542 Summary of conclusions and ra'ommcndatioiiH .. .. 622 


5l:i Sope of the ihaptei .. .. . . 62( 

544 The Indian Agricultural Set vice , . C2G 

545 The provincial services . . . 628 
54H Subordinate services . .. .. .. 621> 

5(7 Directorships of agriculture and prmcipalships of agricultural 

colleges . . . . . . . . . . 630 

The new superior provincial services (Class 1) 

5*8 (*) (literal .. .. .. . .. 632 

(u) Qualifications and recruitment 

541 (/i) Research posts . . . . . 63'* 

650 (&) Teaching posts .. .. .. .. 3t> 

551 (c) Administrative posts . . . . <iHti 

552 ('*) Probationary period .. . . 637 

553 Relations betueen the three branches of thi k service . .. 637 

554 Special postn outside the cadre .. .. .. .. 637 

555 Pay and pension . . . . . . . . 638 

550 Safeguards for recruitment, discipline and conditions of service . . 638 

657 Relations between provincial agricultural services .. . 640 

668 Relations with Empire services .. .. .. .. 64O 

550 Study leave and exchange of officers between Empire and Indian 

research stations ,. . . .. .. .. 641 

Provincial agricultural sei vices (Class II) 

560 (i) Duties .. .. .. .. .. ' 643 

561 (it) Recruitment and conditions of service .. .. 643 

562 The lower grades of the agricultural services .. .. 644 

The Central Agricultural Research Service 

563 () The superior staff : organisation, recruitment and dura- 

tion of appointments . . . . . . 645 

564 (H) The Director of the Pusa Institute .. .. 647 

565 (m) The superior staff at Pusa .. .. .. 648 

560 (if) Class II officers at Pusa : recruitment, status and pros- 
pects ,. .. .. .. . 64!> 

567 Visits of officers of the Central Agricultural Research Service to the 

provinces . . . . . . . . . . 65O 

568 Recruitment from abroad . . . . . . . . 651 

569 Summary of conclusions and recommendations . . . . 663 





570 Scope of the chapter 


Agricultural development in the minor provinces 

671 (t) Descriptive 


672 (i) The case for assistance 


673 (ui) Possible methods of promoting the agricultural develop- 
ment of the minor provinces 


674 (tv) Concluding remarks 


676 Points of contact between agriculture in British Indin and 
in Indian States 


676 Education in the principles and aims of local self-government . . 


577 Meteorology and Agriculture 


578 The International Institute of Agriculture at Koine 


670 The Imperial Institute 


580 Summary of conclusions and recommendations 




381 Conclusion 


582 Acknowledgments to statt 



I Questionnaire 


II List of witnesses examined 


III Itinerary 


IV Estimated cost of maintaining a pair of bullocks for one yeai 
by a ryot in various districts in British India 


V Forest Policy (Government of India's Circular No. 22-F, dated 
19th October 1894) 


VI Estimated value of forest produce given away free or at reduced 
rates in 1926-26 


VII Area irrigated from wells in British India 


III All-India forecasts of crops issued by the J>epartment of 
Commercial Intelligence and Statistics 






GRAPHS .. .. .. .. (See list overleaf ) 

MAP (in pocket) 

MO Y 28ft- <J 



TITLE Facing P 

Bxpenditure of the Imperial and provincial department t of agriculture . . 36 

Groftft area under food anrl non-food crop* in British India by rive-year 

. . . . . . . . 69 

Average yield in pound* pei acre, for all India, including Indian States, 

of cleaned rice, wheat, ginned cotton and jute . . . , . . 76 

Area irrigated in Btitith I ndm . .. 326 

Area irrigated hy various *'ur< <H in the province* uhere irrigation is 
important (average*! foi the years 1908-01! tolI2-13 and 1921-22 
to 1925 2(1) .. .. .. 328 

Kxporttf from India of rite, uheat, taw jute and raw cotton . . 398 

Destination of export* from India of rite, uhoat, miv cot'on and raw jnte. 402 

Number of birth* and doah ren intend in British India . . . . ) 

f fil2 
Death rate per 1,000 of the population in rural and urban areaa . J 

Total expenditure on education and division between direct and indirect^ 

expenditure . , . .1 . 

Direct expenditure on edunation ... J 

Vet expenditure on education ly provincial government* , . . 518 

Ama under cult.iva* ion in British India (1908.09 to 1925-26) 

Ctaffifl[cation of area in BritiHh India and in Indian States in 1924-2A 






May It Please Your Majesty, 

We, the undersigned Commissioners appointed to examine and report 
on the present conditions of agriculture and rural economy in British 
India and to make recommendations for the improvement of agriculture 
and the promotion of the welfare and prosperity of the rural 
population ; in particular to investigate : 

(a) the measures now being taken for the promotion of agricultural 

and veterinary research, experiment, demonstration and education ; 

for the compilation of agricultural statistics ; for the introduction of 

new and better crops and for improvement in agricultural practice, 

dairy farming and the breeding of stock ; 

(6) the existing methods of transport and marketing of agricultural 

produce and stock ; 

(c) the methods by which agricultural operations are financed arid 
credit afforded to agriculturists ; 

(d) the main factors affecting the rural prosperity and welfare of 
the agricultural population ; 

and to make recommendations ; humbly submit to Your Majesty the 
following Report. 

We assembled in India, at Simla, on the 1 1th of October, 1926, Before 
that date, Dr. D. Clouston, C.I.E., D.Sc., Agricultural Adviser to the 
Government of India, who has acted as Liaison Officer between that 
Government and the Commission, had collected much valuable informa- 
tion for us. We wish here to record our appreciation of hie services to 
us generally and to thank both him and other officers of the Government 
of India for the material with which they supplied us. This material 
and the provincial memoranda have proved most valuable and have been 
consulted by us at every stage of our enquiry. We owe a very special 
debt of thanks to the officers of the provincial government* who 
prepared these memoranda. 
MO Y286 l 

On first assembling in India, we devoted our attention to the revision 
and final approval of our questionnaire, a copy of which is printed as 
Appendix I to this Report. Copies of the questionnaire were sent to 
all persons wh'> were to be examined as witnesses, as also to others likely 
to give useful information to the Commission. Local governments were 
supplied with a large number of copies for local distribution and a copy 
was sent to everyone who asked for it. The questionnaire was also 
widely published in the Press. In all we received 783 replies to the 

Of those who replied to the questionnaire, 395 gave oral evidence 
before us, 178 being officials of the Government of India and of the 
provincial governments and the rest non-officials. A list of the witnesses 
examined is appended (Appendix II). We desire to thank both those 
who answered our questionnaire and those who gave oral evidence before 
us for the pains at which they have been to assist us. 

After examining at Simla the heads of the various departments of the 
Government of India, connected directly or indirectly with agriculture, 
we visited successively Poona, Bombay, Bangalore, (bimbatore, 
Coonoor, Madras, Calcutta, Shillong, Jorhat, Dacca, Pusa, Raipur, 
Nagpur, Hoshangabad, Lucknow, Benares, Cawnpore, Agra, Delhi, 
Hissar, Lahore, Lyallpur, Sukkur and Peshawar. We examined 
witnesses at all these places except Coonoor ami Sukkur. From 
Peshawar we returned to Bombay to hear further evidence. 

The Commission broke up in India on the 1st April 1927, and 
reassembled in London on the 17th May 1927. As the Raja of Par- 
lakimedi was unable to accompany us to England, Mr. F. Noyce, C.S.I., 
C.B.E., I.C.S., who had been attached to the Commission since February 
1927, WUH appointed Assistant Commissioner during the stay of the 
Commission in England. The Commission examined, in London, 
representatives of trading and manufacturing interests, a number of 
experts in agricultural and veterinary matters and a few public men and 
retired officials from India, who had made a special study of questions 
germane to the enquiry. Witnesses were also examined at Cambridge 
and Rothamsted. The Commission visited the Agricultural Show at 
Bath, and the Royal Show at Newport. 

Whilst in London the Commission suffered an irreparable loss by the 
ilnath of one of its members, the late Sir Ganga Ram. His wide know- 
ledge of the technique of agriculture and irrigation, as well as of the 
commercial aspect of farming, which he had tested and proved by original 
and successful ventures in the Punjab, invested his opinions with quite 
unusual authority. We regret profoundly that during the concluding 
stages of our work we have been without the support of his strong 
comrnousense and practical wisdom. 

The Commission broke up in England on the 9th of August, 19?7, and 
reassembled at Karachi on the 24th of October, 1927. Some of us took 
advantage of this interval to visit places of agricultural interest in 
Holland, Germany, Italy and Egypt. 

After hearing evidence regarding Sind at Karachi, we proceeded to 
Burma where we heard evidence at Rangoon and Mandalay, During 
our return to Rangoon, we visited Mahlaing, Myingyan, Magwe and 
Allanmyo. After our return from Burma, we visited Patna, where we 
again took evidence, and also the Imperial Forest Research Institute 
at Dehra Dun. We terminated our second tour on the 30th of November 
at Delhi. After examining a few witnesses there and completing the 
collection of our material, we left Delhi for Mahable&hwar where we 
arrived on the 10th of December and proceeded to write our Report. 
In the course of our journeys, we visited all the major provinces in 
India, the North- West Frontier Province and the Province of Delhi and, 
in doing so, travelled 18,197 miles. A copy of our itinerary is printed as 
Appendix III to this Report. 

In all the major provinces, we co-opted two members to assist us in 
raising points for discussion, eliciting evidence, and cross-examining 
witnesses. We would here acknowledge the assistance we received from 
them. In the course of our enquiry, we examined officers of the various 
departments connected with rural development, as also a number of 
non-officials, who could, from their own personal knowledge and experi- 
ence, give information on the subjects referred to us for inquiry. We 
visited the agricultural and veterinary colleges, various experimental 
and demonstration farms, agricultural shows, and co-operative institu- 
tions and conferences. Visits were also paid to as many villages as time 
and opportunity permitted. 

We took advantage of our visits to tho various provincial headquarters 
to meet the respective governments, and to discuss informally with them 
the important questions arising from official memoranda and from the 
evidence submitted in their provinces. 

We desire to take this opportunity to thank all those who have assisted 
us in our prolonged enquiry. They are far too numerous to make it 
possible to mention all by name. But it will be obvious that we could 
not have collected our information und accomplished our lengthy tours 
without most generous help from all those with whom we came into 
contact. This help it has been our privilege to receive throughout in 
the fullest measure. 

To the provincial governments, to the directors of agriculture and to 
the many officials and private gentlemen who assisted us we desire to 
express our sincerest thanks for invaluable help most generously given. 
To the railway administration and its subordinate officers a very special 
measure of thanks is due for the safety, expedition and comfort with 
which we were conveyed over so many thousands of miles of track. 
Finally, we desire to record the obligations under which we rest to the 
Government of India as a whole and, more particularly, to the Honour- 
able Member who was in charge of the Department of Education, 
Health and Lands during the whole of our enquiry and to hia 
MO Y 286 la 

In the course of our visits to the provinces, we acquired, partly from 
the memoranda with which each provincial government supplied us and 
partly as the result of personal observation, a considerable amount of 
information, on matters of fact to which we attach importance but for 
which it has proved impracticable to find a place in the body of our 
Report. We have, therefore, decided to embody this information in a 
series of prefaces to the provincial volumes of evidence. We have 
decided also to publish these prefaces in a single volume as an appendix 
to this Report, for the convenience of those who desire to obtain a bird's 
eye view of the main features of provincial life. 


1. Agriculture gives occupation, directly and indirectly, to the vast 
THE IXDUH VILLAGE. ^i 01 "^ of the population of India. Tho census 
returns of 1921 showed that the proportion of the 
population directly engaged in, or dependent on, agricultural and 
pastoral pursuits in British India was 73 -^ per cent. Almost everywhere 
in India it would appear that, from time immenjpyial, the people have 
lived in small villages, the mud holises of which are huddled together in 
a more or less compact area situated in the midst of the fields which 
provide the means of livelihood to their occupants. The farms and 
farmsteads which are so prominent a feature of the rural life of 
western countries are entirely absent. There is no obvious link 
between the home of the individual cultivator and the fields he tills, 
His house is in the village and the fields which make up his small 
holding are scattered over the area of land attached to it. In the 
south and east, the average holding is about five acres and elsewhere 
not more than half the holdings exceed this limit. Large towns 
are few, great cities rare ; most of the 500,000 villages have not 
yet been touched by metalled road or railway ; post offices 
are many miles apart, telegraph offices still more distant 
from each other. Except in the north-west, the whole country 
is dependent on the monsoon and all major agricultural opera- 
tions are fixed and timed by this phenomenon. Except where perennial 
irrigation is available, climatic conditions thus restrict agricultural 
operations to a few months of the year. Under the prevailing system ol 
tillage, the small holdings do not provide occupation for more than 
half the time of the cultivator. The urban population is relatively 
small, a little over eleven per cent of the whole, and the demand for 
agricultural produce for final consumption in the towns is thus small 
in comparison with the whole volume of production. Circumstances, 
therefore, have combined to maintain what is, in large measure, a 
self -sufficing type of agriculture. Since the Government of India passed, 
in 1858, from the hands of the East India Company to that of the Crown, 
there have been many developments, but the main characteristics of 
village life are still those of the centuries anterior to British rule. Each 
village tends to be self-contained ; in each will usually be found some 
persons with permanent rights in the land, either as owners or 
tenants with hereditary occupancy rights ; of these, some cultivate 
all they hold, others with larger areas at their disposal rent out to 
tenants, on a yearly agreement, a part or the whole of their lands ; 
below these in the scale are agricultural labourers frequently of different 
castes from the actual cultivators ; some of these have acquired small 
plots in proprietary right or permanent tenure, some have a field or 
two on rent ; some work in the fields only at time of pressure and are 
mainly engaged in crafts such as leather work or in tasks regarded a 
menial. In all but the smallest villages, there are one or more skilled 
artisans, carpenters or ironsmiths, who provide and repair the simple 


agricultural implements, bullock gear and water-lifts The household 
requirements are supplied by a shop or two, whose owners frequently 
provide the first market for the village produce and add to their earnings 
by engaging in moneylending. Almost invariably there is a religious 
building, a temple, shrine or mosque. 

For the most part, the people belong to families that have lived within 
the same village for generations past ; their holdings are inherited from 
their fathers before them and have been divided or aggregated as the 
descendants of a common ancestor have increased or decreased in num- 
bers. By both Hindu and customary law, inheritance of immoveable 
property is by equal shares amongst sons or male agnates. Slight varia- 
tions abound, but it is broadly true that inheritance is by blood in the 
male line arid seldom by will. For the sake of simplicity, the rights of 
females ar not here discussed. The result of repeated partitions amongst 
heirs is a persistent tendency to subdivision of holdings. This tendency 
is, however, in part counteracted by forces making for aggregation. 

Where water is readily available, each village has its own supply and, 
in general, it may be said that, where means for irrigating the fields 
are within the power of the people, such irrigation is to be found. Fire- 
wood is usually obtained from the village waste or the fields ; where fuel 
is scarce, dung cakes are of necessity employed for cooking. Indeed, 
for certain purposes dung cakes are preferred even when an alternative 
fuel is available. Seed is saved by the cultivator from the harvest 
or bought from the village shop ; cattlo are bred within the village or 
bought from some near neighbour or wandering grazier ; the sire is 
frequently loosed as an act of piety or merit. From generations past, 
the occupations of the people have been pro-determined by something 
of the nature of an occupational caste or guild system. The more 
remote from road or town, the more self-sufficing IH the village in all 
the requirements of its people from birth to death. 

2. Even when the population of India was much less dense than it 
is to-day and the area available for cultivation 
LACK oir COMMUIU- p er head was much greater, it does not appear that 

A * 

TRAD. there was >' considerable section of the com- 
A is i) COMMKROX. munity which attempted to add to its wealth by 

producing more than it required for its own imme- 
diate needs. This state of affairs was not peculiar to India. The 
desire to accumulate money is not characteristic of rural society. Until 
communications have developed and organised trading and commercial 
communities have arisen, the cultivating classes have no incentive, 
beyond that which may be furnished by a local demand, to produce 
food grains and other agricultural products in excess of their own needs, 
and where everyone in the same neighbourhood is growing the same 
crops, the incentive provided by a local demand is small. In such 
conditions, they are apt to rest content with the production of sufficient 
to eat and drink and the wherewithal to clothe themselves. Increased. 
labour brings no adequate reward if there is no use or enjoyment to 
which the increased outturn can be put. Without the means of disposing 

of the surplus over family requirements provided by organised trade 
and good communications, there could be no agricultural progress and 
large scale farming was impossible. In the absence of markets and all 
that they connote, the cultivation of land by the joint effort of the 
members of the family was inevitable, and, where the area required for 
the support of a family with a simple standard of living is small, the 
cultivated holding must also be small. 

3. Lack of communications and the absence of organised trading 

and commercial communities were not the only 
sK^nY F INTKRNAL obstacles to agricultural progress in the past. When 

the cultivator cannot be certain that he will be left 
in possession of the harvest he has sown, the incentive to put more 
labour and capital into the land or to cultivate a larger area than is 
required for the maintenance of himself and his family i lacking. There 
were few periods in the recorded history of India anterior to the British 
administration when, over large tracts, the internal peace was not greatly 
disturbed and the demands of the State on the land were not heavy to an 
extent which made its possession a liability rather than an asset. These 
demands were based on the produce and not on tho individual and, 
therefore, increased as his cultivation or outturn increased. They 
were frequently arbitrary arid varied with tho needs of the time, the 
embarrassment of the ruler and the temperament and rapacity of the 
local authorities. Though cultivators were essential if revenue was to 
be raised, tho interests of revenue were apt to overshadow those of 
the cultivator. 

4. Although, throughout the history of India, famines due to drought 

have been frequent and often widespread, they have 
never been general over the whole country. It has 
been estimated that the turn of the individual to suffer occurs only once 
in half a century. It must, however, be remembered that drought, 
though the most usual, is not the only cause of famine. Storms and 
floods, swarms of locusts and rats and, in earlier days, invading 
armies, which laid waste everything in their path, and the immigration 
of hordes of refugees fleeing from starving homes have all on occasions 
brought about distress amounting to famine. With no large 
towns, no industrial population on the modern scale and little or no 
means of export overseas, the production of food grains and other 
agricultural produce was perforce confined to the demand for local 
consumption. When favourable seasons yielded a surplus, this was 
stored. Such stores were common, for the surplus could not be 
sold and storage was the obvious means of disposing of it. But it is 
doubtful if such stores were extensive ; in most years, the harvests 
sufficed for the needs of the people and storage in excess of a 
season's requirements was not regarded as necessary. The contingency 
of famine waa too remote to determine mass conduct and the failure 
by individuals to make any systematic provision against such a 
calamity need, therefore, occasion no surprise. For long, governments 
met it where and when it occurred. The modern view of the 


responsibility of the State was not reached until long after India had 
passed under the Crown and it was not until the last decades of the nine- 
teenth century that a definite famine policy was formulated. In earlier 
days, in the absence of accurate information, it was impossible to appre- 
ciate thei effect of climatic variations on food crops, on the population 
and on the areas involved. Where governments failed, it was not to 
be expected that the individual would do better. Bumper harvests, 
therefore, merely caused a glut. They served to replenish stores but 
went little further towards strengthening the community to meet the 
strain of calamity. A severe drought, on the other hand, caused immense 
economic loss which good years did little to counterbalance. The trading 
community of the time was without the means of transportation and 
marketing required to meet the deficiency of the one or to absorb 
the surplus of the other. Its own development was the result of 
the normal requirements of the day and neither the surplus of a 
bounteous harvest nor the pressing demands of a year of famine 
were sufficient to bring into being the higher organisation of com- 
merce and communications without which its special needs could not 
be met. For this, there was needed a steadily recurring movement of 
commodities, a normal surplus over local consumption in one area and 
a normal demand for this surplus in another. Famines occurred at too 
long intervals in any one area to stimulate such a development of trade 
and communications in that area as would have prevented the 
occurrence of a crisis or at least have mitigated its severity. Foi trade 
in food grains and other goods, a steady volume for sale is essential. 
The market requires steady feeding, not satiation in a season of plenty 
and starvation in a year of drought. The position was thus practically 
one of stable equilibrium. No organisation for trade and commerce 
could grow up without the production of a surplus over the local demand 
and no individual, village or province would continue to produce such a 
surplus in the absence of the machinery of trade and commerce essential 
to ensure for it a reward commensurate with the labour expended. 
Progress in agricultural production appeared to be waiting on the demand 
of a market which in India did not exist. From no quarter was the 
cultivator provided with any spur to increased effort, any scope for 
enterprise or any reward for labour in excess of that determined by the 
needs of himself and his family. 

5. Such were the conditions which prevailed over the greater part 
of India up to the early years of the nineteenth 

v^^ssr^ centur ?- The ^ fact r which chan g ed * tem 

SBOTTBITY. for the better was the establishment of peace within 

the country and of security on its borders. So 
complete has been the achievement that it has become increasingly 
difficult to realise what it has meant and how recently it has been 
accomplished. The establishment of internal peace preceded that of 
external security and it is hardly an exaggeration to say that the strain 
on the treasury which the lafcter entailed, to the detriment of internal 
development, continued up to the years of war, famine and pestilence 
which closed the nineteenth century. 


6. Following close upon the establishment of internal security came 
that exhaustive and elaborate enquiry into rights in 
EVOLUTION OF land which forms the basis of rural prosperity. 
lyaT^T EKVBNtn8 The benefits which the people have derived from 
it are almost incalculable. With the detailed record 
of rights in the land came the settlement of the government demand 
either permanently or for periods sufficiently long to relieve the 
revenue payer from the harassing anxiety of uncertainty. The system 
was largely adopted from the one already in existence but it was 
found possible to distribute the demand more evenly over the land 
and to reduce the burden in terms of produce. The effects of thes$ 
changes were marked. They were easily traceable in the famine 
of 1837-38 and still more in that of 1866. Land had begun to acquire 
a value and the security for credit that it furnished appreciably 
mitigated the intensity of distress. The prolonged economic disorgani- 
sation which had followed previous calamities was thus avoided. The 
people were in secure possession of the land ; their rights were on 
record and, although migration took place on a large scale, it was only 
of a temporary character. The whole outlook of the rural community 
was influenced by the fact that it owned rights which were rapidly 
becoming valuable and in the possession of which it was secured by 
settlements for comparatively long periods. In earlier times, land 
had been practically unsalable. It was of less value than the crop 
it yielded ; in short, it was a burden involving liability for revenue 
and not an object of desire which could be pledged for credit. When 
famines came, it was not the land which was sold ; the cattle and 
household goods were disposed of, ornaments were pledged and, when 
these resources were exhausted, the people deserted their villages 
and their fields and wandered in search of food. " Their land " as the 
Special Officer reported after the famine of 1837-38, " was totally 
valueless unless they could cultivate it ; it had no market price for no 
man would buy it or make advances upon it as security so that their only 
resource was to become paupers or perish." With rights defined acd 
the State demand fixed, with protection established against arbitrary 
ejectment and a clear understanding of his liabilities, the cultivator 
had some assurance that the fruits of his labours would be left to him. 

It was this improvement in the cultivator's position which went far 
to strengthen his resisting power against the strain of prolonged drought. 
Although there has been a considerable rise in the price of grain, this 
has been much less than the rise in the value of land. The greatly 
increased value of land has been due to the establishment of internal 
peace, the preparation of a trustworthy record of rights, the 
reduction of the real land revenue demand and its fixation for a term of 
years as well as to higher prices of produce. Except in irrigated 
tracts, there is little evidence that it has been due to an increased 
outturn per acre. In the famine of 1837-38, the price of wheat 
never rose above 11 seers to the rupee as compared with the 
normal price for that period of 36 seers to the rupee. At the present 
time, the normal price for wheat may be eight to ten seers to the 


rupee and, in times of scarcity, it may rise to four seers. Very little 
calculation is required to show how great has been the rise in the 
price of land in terms of food grains or, to put the matter somewhat 
differently, to indicate the value of the enhanced credit based on the 
land when utilised to purchase food in periods of scarcity. It is this 
which provides the explanation for one outstanding feature of all 
recent famines, the absence of the small landholder from relief works. 
The landless labourer has not this new source of credit to fall back 
on and, when prolonged drought makes all agricultural operations 
impossible, his position rapidly declines to one of acute distress. 

7. The rise in the value of land as a source of credit would be, in itself, 
of little use unless there were in existence the capital 

n^v^iiENT NT *OF available in li( * uid fonn to meet . demands for 
OOMMUNIOATIOKS. accommodation nor would it suffice in the long run 
unless the landholder were in a position to redeem, 
in times of plenty, the debt incurred to tide over distress. Both these 
conditions have been fulfilled first by the development and, later, by the 
improvement of communications which have facilitated trade, opened 
up new markets, stimulated the expansion of commerce and, by so doing, 
have resulted in a marked increase in wealth. The failure of the 
local food supply in times of drought offers to trade an opportunity for 
enhanced activity and legitimate enterprise but, in earlier days, there 
was neither the capital nor the organisation which enabled this opportu- 
nity to be seized. In the famine of 1866, private traders in Orissa proved 
unable to meet the demands upon them and were unable to overcome 
the difficulties in the way of importing food. Prices became merely 
nominal and money was spurned as worthless. A similar lack of strength 
amongst traders was revealed in the famine of 1868-69 in Ajmer r 
when men with money in their hands died for want of food. Measures 
designed to improve the lot of the cultivator alone could not achieve 
their object unless they were supplemented by others aimed at 
relieving obstacles to trade. The great lesson to be learnt from 
the Orissa famine of 1866 was the need for more extensive and, 
as funds permitted, better communications. In the generation which 
followed that famine, the internal communications of India underwent 
a revolution. The effect of improved communications in stimulating 
production and facilitating distribution has been great. Their in- 
fluence in another direction is also becoming increasingly marked. The 
old self-sufficing type of agriculture is in some measure being replaced 
by a more commercialised system in which the cultivation of 
" money crops, " that is, crops intended entirely for sale such 
as cotton, jute and oil-seeds is increasingly prominent. The 
cultivator has begun to look beyond the present needs of 
his family, and the demands of the market are more and 
more determining what he shall produce. Improved communications 
have stimulated that growing organisation of trade and commerce 
which has proved one of the most important features in increasing 
the resisting power of the people. They have brought with them that 


practical certainty of finding a market which has encouraged production 
and they have made possible that increase in wealth which is reflected 
in the investment of funds in a multitude of improvements. They 
have been amongst the most potent factors in breaking the vicious 
circle of economic stagnation and in setting India on the road of economic 
progress. How great has been the change wrought by these and other 
factors in regard to famine is shown by the history of the famine of 
1896-97, which affected an area of 225,000 square miles in British India 
with a population of 62 millions. Although the areas in which severe 
distress prevailed were greater than in any previous famine, private 
trade proved able to regulate the supply of food throughout India : 
the uniform level of prices all over the country testified to the eftect 
of the extensive system of railways in facilitating distribution ; and 
the unprecedented success of relief measures was a clear indication of 
the possession by the community as a whole of a reserve ol strength 
which enabled it to meet the most widespread dearth on record. 

No action of the State can prevent a failure of rain, and the distress 
consequent on the stoppage of agricultural operations ; but it is im- 
portant to emphasise that famine now consists in the lack of employ- 
ment, and so of purchasing power, and not in the lack of available 
food. When, owing to the absence of rain, the small cultivator and 
the landless labourer are deprived of the means of earning their daily 
bread, the measures adopted by the State are effective in placing 
within their reach alternative means of livelihood. 

8. The possibility of remedying, by means of the provision of 

irrigation facilities, the obstacles to agricultural 
IRRIGATION WORKS, prosperity, consequent on the unequal distribution 

of the rainfall and its liability to failure or serious 
deficiency has naturally received special consideration. If ever interest/ 
on the subject appeared in danger of flagging, the vagaries of the monsoon 
speedily revived it. Wells, tanks and canals have been in use in India 
from early times and, although the aggregate achievement from both 
public and private sources is enormous, the work of planning and con- 
struction still goes forward. But as no scheme for the rapid enhancement 
of production over a large area can hope for financial success unless 
efficient means for the distribution of that production exist, railways are 
as essential to the large canals as the large canals have been to some of 
the railways. Neither canals nor railways can be built without capital, 
and capital might have waited upon the enhancement of production 
that only canals and railways could bring about, had it not been for the 
loans which the Government of India were able to raise through the 
sound credit which they had built up in the markets of the world. 

9. Two other important factors, both external to India, have 

exercised a profound influence upon agricultural 
DEVELOPMENT OF economy. The Suez Canal was opened in 1869 ; , 
OV^EASOOMMUNIOA. fc e 3^,^ with it8 cheap f^fr and compara- 

tively rapid transport followed soon after. What 
these have meant to Indian agriculture is clear, from the figures of 


overseas trade. When the Suez Canal was opened, exports were valued 
at Rs. 80 crores. For the three years ending 1926-27, the average value 
of the annual exports exceeded Rs. 350 crores. By far the greater 
part of the volume of exports is contributed by agricultural products, 
cotton, jute, oil-seeds and tea being the chief items. 

10. Internal peace has been unbroken for several generations, rail- 

Way comunications are now fairly satisfactory, 

THE ABSENCE OF roads have been improved and extended, there is 

INOIN INDU B FAEM free access to external markets and the principal 

agricultural products of India find a ready sale in 
them. But India is still pre-eminently the land of the small holder. 
Large scale farming, even in the altered conditions of to-day, though 
open to many is practised by few. The large landholder, and there are 
many such, leases his land on rent to a number of petty cultivators. 
The typical agriculturist is still the man who possesses a pair of bullocks 
and who cultivates a few acres with the assistance of his family and of 
occasional hired labour. For the absence of large scale farming in 
India there are many reasons. Among them are the obstacles to agri- 
cultural progress generally which have been discussed in preceding para- 
graphs and which have now been largely, if not entirely, removed. 
Others are the obstacles to development which continue to exist. Of 
the pressure of population on the soil, of poverty and its concomitant 
indebtedness, of illiteracy, of conditions unfavourable tcfhealth, we shall 
have much to say in the course of this Report. But there are two in- 
fluences militating against the spread of large scale farming in India 
which deserve special mention here. To the influence of the laws and 
customs governing inheritance amongst the Hindu and Muhammadan 
community reference has already been made. These laws and customs 
vary among different communities but, broadly speaking, they favour 
the partition of immovable property among a number of heirs. The 
small holdings which have resulted from this have been rendered still 
smaller by the desire of each heir to gain possession of a plot of the best 
land even if this entails his accepting another of the worst. The second 
influence has been that of the tenancy legislation which is in force 
throughout the greater part of British India. The primary object of this 
legislation has been to give the tenants on an estate security of tenure, 
but its effect has been to render it difficult for the larger landholders to 
obtain unrestricted possession of compact blocks of land. But, even 
if greater opportunities for large scale farming operations had been open 
to the larger landholders, the lack, until recent years, of men with the 
requisite training to carry on such operations would have prevented 
full advantage being taken of them. 

11. It is thus, in the main, with the needs of a vast population of 

small cultivators that we are concerned. Though 
BooN^o B po?moN. our Commission is the first to be appointed speci- 
fically to examine and report on the conditions of 
agriculture and rural economy in India, it is by no means the first 
Commission which has made recommendations for the promotion of the 


welfare and prosperity of the rural population of this country. The 
investigations into agricultural conditions carried out by the successive 
Famine Commissions of 1880, 1898 and 1901, by the Irrigation Com- 
mission of 1903 and by the Committee on Co-operation of 1915 have 
resulted in measures of great and lasting benefit to the people. We 
would here take the opportunity of acknowledging the assistance we have 
derived from their Eeports. Those of the Famine Commissions were 
landmarks in the history of the agricultural development ,of India. 

Each enquiry in its turn brought on record valuable material. The 
Commissions investigated their problems in the light of the knowledge 
of the day and their proposals embody the latest ideas current at the 
time. Most of their suggestions have led to measures designed to remedy 
defects in the economic system so that there has been an almost 
continuous series of legislative and administrative attempts to deal with 
the problem of poverty amongst the rural community. Whether, in 
fact, the economic position of the cultivating classes has improved and! 
is improving is a matter on which there are still differences of opinioii 
Among a population so large as thafc of India, there must be exampleb 
of every stage of progress and decline but, if the position is viewed as L 
whole, there should be little room for honest doubt that there has been 
substantial progress. 

Since the series of enquiries into famine came to a close in 1901, great 
economic changes have taken place in India. The development of 
irrigation on a vast scale in the Punjab, and, to a smaller extent, else- 
where has immensely increased the resources of the country : railways and 
roads have been extended and the effects of the improvements both of 
internal and external communications have made themselves increasingly 
felt. It took India nearly a generation to re-act to the great changes 
in these respects which have been mentioned but, since the commence- 
ment of the present century, the evidence of growing prosperity has 
been manifest to everyone whose acquaintance with India extends over 
the last twenty-five years. That there still remains much to be done 
and that great improvements have still to be carried into effect will be 
clear from the remainder of our Eeport. In a country so extensive as 
India, the effects of any single measure are apt to be so dispersed that 
they can be discerned with difficulty, but the cumulative effect of the 
measures of the last eighty years cannot be ignored. 

12. In concluding this chapter, we would add a few remarks on the 
problems immediately before us. The large 
development of the export trade, on which we have 
commented, has been secured after providing for 
the increasing population, to which, according to the Census Eeport 
of 1921, some 62 millions were added in British India alone, 
between 1872 and 1921. That production has increased is beyond 
dispute: some part of this increase is due to the enhancement 
of yield resulting from the expansion of irrigation but a far larger 
part is due to the spread of cultivation. Only a small proportion 
of it can be attributed to the introduction of higher yielding varieties 


of crops and it is doubtful if any appreciable increase in yield 
can be attributed to the adoption of better methods of cultivation or 
the increased use of manures. In a country with such a long 
history, little surprise need be felt that a system of tillage based 
on experience should have reached a stage beyond which further 
progress was bound to await scientific discovery. That in many places, 
the system of agriculture followed has attained a very high standard is 
matter of common knowledge ; the cultivation of rice in the deltas, for 
example, has reached a marked degree of perfection and the wisdom of 
many agricultural proverbs stand s unchallenged by research . The careful 
terracing of the hillsides, the various methods of irrigation from wells and 
tanks, the construction of accurately designed channels from the streams 
to the fields and similar achievements in improving land disclose skill, 
ingenuity and patient labour. Although they affect but a small propor- 
tion of the area under crops and though the works are simple and their 
benefit narrowly confined to their immediate neighbourhood, their 
importance is considerable and it should not be overlooked when contem- 
plating the larger works of Government. In the conditions in which 
](pe ordinary cultivator works, agricultural experts have found it no easy 
Aiatter to suggest improvements and the fact remains that the cultivator 
PIS, in the main, met new demands by breaking up new areas rather 
Chan by intensification of method, the employment of more efficient 
implements or the use of manures. In spite of the progress that has 
undoubtedly been made and of the great increase in gross wealth of 
the country, the ordinary cultivator on his tiny plot is still a man of 
small resources, with small means for meeting his small needs. He 
requires all the help which science can afford, and which organisation, 
education and training can bring within his reach. 

In existing conditions, the activities of the agricultural departments 
have touched but a fractional part of the country. But though, 
throughout our Report, we have dealt at length with the problem of 
improving the efficiency of these departments and of extending their 
activities over the whole area of agricultural India, we have regarded 
this as merely one aspect of the far wider problem of creating an 
environment in which the cultivator will be willing to receive and to 
put to the best possible use the advice and help which the agricultural 
and other departments are in a position to place at his disposal. 
Our enquiry has, therefore, extended to the activities of all departments 
which are closely concerned with rural welfare. We shall endeavour 
to show the contribution which each of them, Agricultural, Veterinary, 
Forest, Irrigation, Co-operative, Public Health, Education, and Indus- 
tries, can make to the creation of an environment favourable to 
progress in all directions. Our object, in short, has been to suggest 
ways and means of assisting the advance of the rural community 
towards a fuller life. These must be designed at once to awaken 
the desire in that community for better things and to arm the 
individual member of it against the temptations that beset him, 
without impairing either his self-respect or his spirit of manly 




13. The dependence of agriculture on empirical methods was general 
AGBIOULTUBAL even in western countries until towards the middle 
POLICY PRIOB TO 1880. o f the nineteenth century, when the application 
of chemistry to soils in 1840 and the establishment of the Rothamstad 
Research Station in 1843 were rapidly followed by the opening of the 
first agricultural college in England at Cuencester in 1845. In India, 
the first proposal for a special Department of Agriculture originated with 
the Commission appointed after the great famine in Bengal and Orissa 
in 1866. The proposal was, however, considered premature and was 
dropped. It was revived in 1869 at the instance of the cotton trade, a 
trade which has frequently exercised considerable influence in shaping 
the agricultural policy of the Government of India. In that year, the 
Secretary of State for India forwarded correspondence with the 
Manchester Cotton Supply Association for the consideration of the 
Government of India. The Association urged that measures should be 
undertaken for the improvement of cotton, the crop in which it was 
primarily interested, and that a separate Department of Agriculture should 
be established in each province. 

Although it was long before this ideal was to be realised, there is no 
doubt that the representation of the Association provided a stimulus 
to the serious consideration of the question of agricultural improvement. 
The suggestions put forward in it were very fully considered by Lord 
Mayo's Government but, although it was recognised in the discussions 
which followed that provincial departments of agriculture must form an 
essential part of acy scheme for agricultural development, the weight 
of opinion was in favour of the establishment of a central secretariat for 
the superintendence of all measures connected with revenue, agriculture, 
forests, commerce and the industrial arts of India. The Government of 
India appear to have had some doubts as to the suitability of a secretariat 
as the controlling authority and recommended that the new depart- 
ment should be under the control of a director but the final decision of 
the Secretary of State was that it should begin as a branch of the secre- 
tariat of the Government of India. The Department of Revenue, Agricul- 
ture and Commerce of the Government of India commenced to function 
in June, 1871, and continued to do so until 1879 when financial stringency 
necessitated a re-shuffling of portfolios. The Secretary of State sanc- 
tioned the rearrangement with some reluctance and expressed the%ope 
that it would not interfere with agricultural improvement. It cannot be 
said that the department, whilst it lasted, exercised any real influence on 
the problems of agricultural development. The attitude it adopted was 
too detached to admit of this but it has to its credit the evolution of 
systems for the collection of agricultural statistics and of other data 


which proved of great value in dealing with famine problems and which 
formed a useful basis for schemes of agricultural improvement when the 
time became ripe for them. As for provincial expansion during thia 
period, though, as will be seen subsequently, efforts to bring about agricul- 
tural improvement were made in most provinces, the only province in 
which a separate Department of Agriculture was established was the 
North-West (now the United) Provinces. This was, no doubt, due to 
the fact that the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir John Straohey, had been a 
Member of Lord Mayo's Government and had rightly formed the view, 
which indeed was that of Lord Mayo's Government, that substantial 
development could only come from provincial departments of agriculture 
and not from a government secretariat. 

14. Little real progress bad thus been made when the Report of the 
AOBIOULTUBAL Famine Commission of 1880 again revived interest 

POLICY, 1880-81. in the subject of agricultural improvement. That 
Commission had been charged, amongst other matters, with the enquiry 
how far it was possible for government action to diminish the severity 
of famines or to place the people in a better position to meet, it. It had 
further been directed to investigate the question of practical improvements 
in agriculture and of the best means of giving an impetus to the efforts 
of the State to encourage this branch of national industry. The Eeport 
of the Commission was a masterly review of the whole situation and, 
though many commissions and committees have, since then, investigated 
various branches of the subject, no general enquiry of such an extensive 
character was found necessary until the appointment of the present 
Royal Commission. 

The Commission had much to say about the development of irrigation 
and the necessity for the extension of the railway system was strongly 
pressed. It hoped that the effects of famine in future would be mitigated 
in intensity partly by the extension of the means of communications and 
development of internal trade and ]3artly by the greater preparedness of 
the people to meet them which grows from the increase of thrift and 
resourcefulness and the accumulation of capital due to a settled and 
civilised government. But, as the recurrence of famines in India 
appeared unavoidable, the Commission insisted strongly on the revival of 
the Department of Agriculture of the Government of India under the 
control of a Secretary and on the simultaneous formation in all provinces- 
of a Department of Agriculture with a very large subordinate establish- 
ment working under an executive officer. To this department would be 
entrusted the duty of collecting experience of past famines and of 
undertaking definite and permanent charge of the administration of 
famine relief . The department would also hold charge of the records 
of past famines, collect comprehensive and exact records bearing on the 
agricultural, vital and economic conditions of the people, supply the 
Government with statistics when famine threatened and work on these. 
In ordinary times, it was contemplated that its duties would mainly 
consist in the collection of facts relating to the condition of the 
agricultural community and the agricultural.produce of the country. 


In order to carry out this scheme, the Commission recommended the 
improvement of the machinery for the collection of statistics, such 
machinery to include an officer in each district who would compile the 
agricultural returns and test their correctness. A Director of Agriculture 
would be appointed in each province as head of the new department. 
The working of this scheme in the provinces is described in greater detail 
in subsequent paragraphs. The general conclusion of the Commission 
was that " it is to the improvement of the internal communications and 
the removal of all obstructions to the free course of trade, accompanied 
by the extension of irrigation in suitable localities and an improved 
agriculture that we must look for obtaining security in future against 
disastrous failures in the food supply/ 1 

The Commission made many important recommendations bearing 
generally on the welfare of the rural community. Its advice that " it 
should be the policy of Government to advance money freely and on easy 
terms on the security of the land whenever it can be done without serious 
risk of ultimate loss" Jed to the enactment of laws the Land Improvement 
Loans Act (XIX of 1883) and the Agriculturists' Loans Act (XII of 
1884) which regulated the grant of loans for agricultural improvements 
and the needs of agriculturists. Its suggestion that the distribution of 
such loans should be entrusted to the new Agricultural Department was 
not, however, accepted. On the subject of indebtedness, it wrote much 
which possesses a permanent value : in particular, it recommended tha't 
courts should go behind the bond. u Wherever the indebtedness of the 
landowners has assumed serious proportions, the appointment of special 
courts to examine into their debts, to reduce their amount to the sum 
equitably due, and to fix instalments which would pay the debt off in a 
given number of years, at a rate of interest proportionate to the diminished 
risk, would appear to be the only way in which Government can remedy 
the evil." A proposal had been placed before the Commission that 
agriculturists' relief banks should be established to meet the current 
needs of the landholders and land improvement banks and land improve- 
ment companies to grant them loans for longer terms. This was not 
supported, but, in its place, recommendations were made for the 
enactment of new legislation facilitating the grant of State loans. 

15. The Government of India took no immediate action on the pro- 

AGRICULTUIUL posals which contemplated the creation of an exten- 

POLICY, 1881-1905. s i ve provincial agency and contented themselves 

with a request to the Secretary of State for permission to establish a new 

secretariat. The Secretary of State, whilst accepting their proposals 

in this respect, attached considerably more weight than they did to those 

for provincial development and made it clear that the first duty of the 

new secretariat Was to be the consideration of tKe form in which 

provincial departments of agriculture could* best be established. The 

history of the former secretariat had shown that, without provincial 

agency, no programme of development which emanated from 

headquarters could be productive of tangible results. It will thus be 

seen that the lessons of the past had not been lost and that it was at last 

MO Y 286 2 


clearly recognised that the main responsibility for agricultural research 
and experiment must fall on the provincial governments. 

The first Secretary of the new department was Mr. (afterwards Sir) 
Edward Buck. It was probably due to the fact that he was a keen 
agriculturist as well as a capable Secretary that the interests of 
agricultural improvement were pressed simultaneously with the 
elaboration of a statistical system. The subject was approached on 
the broadest lines and it was felt that the differences in the conditions in 
the provinces were such that all the Government of India could do was 
to give a general lead. In their Resolution of December 8th, 1881, they 
briefly defined the duties of a provincial agricultural department as 
being agricultural enquiry, agricultural improvement and famine relief. 
In subsequent paragraphs, we shall indicate the action which was taken 
on these lines in the various provinces. 

The next ten years were spent mainly in conferences and in investigat- 
ing the position in the provinces with a view to discovering the lines of 
development best suited to their needs. It was not long before the 
Imperial Department found that no advance could be made without 
technical advice and the first requirement laid down was " one first class 
expert who should make a general enquiry into the character of the soils 
and agricultural conditions of the country." In other words, the 
necessity for the appointment of an agricultural chemist had become 
evident. It was not, however, until the recommendation that a forward 
movement in agricultural policy should be initiated had been repeated 
by a succession of conferences that the Secretary of State was convinced 
of the reality of the desire for the development of agricultural research. 
In 1889, he sent out Dr. J. A. Voelcker, Consulting Chemist to the Royal 
Agricultural Society, to advise upon the best course to be adopted in 
order to apply the teachings of agricultural chemistry to Indian agricul- 
ture and to effect improvements in it. This was an important advance 
and may indeed be regarded as the first serious endeavour to frame a 
policy of agricultural research suited to the conditions of India. J)r. 
Voelcker arrived in India towards the end of 1889 and left the country 
early in 1891. His impressions and recommendations are contained in 
his book on the " Improvement of Indian Agriculture." Although thirty- 
five years have elapsed since this was written, the ability which 
Dr. Voelcker displayed in his comprehensive survey of the agricultural 
conditions of India, in his analysis of the problems they present and in 
his recommendations for their solution, still renders it a book of the 
utmost value to all students of agriculture in India. We are glad to 
have this opportunity of acknowledging the great assistance we ourselves 
have derived from & 

Advantage iq$^ taken of Dr. Voelcker 's presence in India to hold 
another agricultural conference, the fourth of the series, which met at 
Simla in October 1890 and was attended by delegates from all provinces 
and from one Indian State, amongst whom was our colleague, 
Sir Thomas Middleton. Dr. Voelcker himself was present at this confer- 
ence and a preliminary note which he had prepared was discussed by it. 


The two main questions which were placed before the conference were 
whether the possibilities of improvement were sufficiently great to justify 
the gradual establishment of a sound system of scientific investigation as 
well as of education in connection with agriculture and what the general 
character of the system should be. The conference answered the first 
of these questions in the affirmative. Its reply to the second was that 
an expert was required for purposes of scientific investigation apart 
from the requirements of agricultural education. It was strongly of 
opinion that this expert should be able to deal with the practical side of 
agricultural questions and competent to direct general enquiries and, 
therefore, advised the appointment of a really first class man as, 
agricultural chemist (for the conduct of general investigations) and an 
assistant (for purposes of instruction). The appointment of Dr. J. W. 
Leather and Mr. S. H. Collins to these posts was the beginning of the 
scientific staff of the Imperial Department of Agriculture. The senior 
officer was 'expected to occupy himself in research. His assistant was 
to concern himself principally with teaching at Poona, Dehra Dun 
and Saidapet and with chemical questions connected with foxests and 

Dr. Leather, who arrived in India at the end of 1892, was engaged for 
five years. On the expiry of that period, the Government of India 
recommended that the post of agricultural chemist should be abolished 
and that an Inspector General of Agriculture should be appointed. It 
has already been mentioned that the earlier Imperial Department of 
Revenue, Agriculture and Commerce did little for agricultural research 
but that a mass of information was collected and machinery was devised 
for the organisation of land record systems and the collection of data in 
regard to prices and of other statistics bearing on rural economics. The 
collection of these data continued after the resuscitation of the depart- 
ment and, in asking the Secretary of State to sanction the appointment 
of an Inspector General of Agriculture, the Government of India were 
in a position to say that the local machinery for ascertaining and recording 
fafcts had attained a considerable degree of perfection in almost all parts 
of India and that they were, therefore, prepared to embark more 
actively than had hitherto been possible upon agricultural experiment 
and research. 

The post of agricultural chemist Was not, however, abolished but, in 
1901, the late Dr. Mollison, at that time Deputy Director of Agriculture 
in Bombay, was appointed first Inspector General of Agriculture in India. 
It was laid down that his duties would comprise the systematic study 
of Indian agriculture, its conditions and remediable defects ; the super- 
vision and development of provincial agricultural departments ; the 
establishment of improved agricultural methods ani^l^w. staples and, 
generally, the direction of the agricultural policy oi^tovernment. In 
advertising the appointment, it was naively remarked that "the 
post gives scope for the highest administrative capacity." This it 
undoubtedly did. It was also laid down that the position of the 
Inspector General in respect both of the Government of India and of local 
governments would be purely advisory, 
wo Y 380 2a 

The need for development in directions other than purely chemical 
Was soon felt. In 1901, Dr. E. J. Butler was appointed Imperial Myco- 
logist or, as the appointment was then designated, Imperial Cryptogamic 
Botanist and, in 1 903, the late Mr. Maxwell Lefroy was appointed Imperial 

16. The recommendations of the Famine Commission of 1880, as 

stated in the report of the last of its successors, the 
Mils* OF M 190T C M " Famine Commission of 1901, " powerfully influenced 

for good agrarian and administrative reform in 
India for the next twenty years." The next great advance was made as 
the result of the Report of the Commission of 1901 which recommended 
that the expert staff of the agricultural departments in all provinces 
should be strengthened and that mutual credit associations on the lines 
of the German co-operative credit societies should be introduced. The 
Commission found that "the steady application to agricultural problems 
of expert research is the crying necessity of the time " but reinforced this 
with the warning that " security of the harvest only postpones the 
pressure of the population on the soil ; it is prudence and knowledge 
and the practice of thrift alone which will relieve it." In considering 
the problem of indebtedness, it recommended further legislation on the 
lines of the new Punjab Alienation of Land Act to restrict the transfer 
of land ; otherwise " our moderate survey rates, intended to benefit 
the cultivator, will only benefit land speculators, who will, as occupants, 
pay the low rates to Government and grind down their sub-tenants under 
a hideous system of rack-renting." 

17. The recommendations of the Famine Commission of 1901 were 

speedily translated into action by Lord Cumm's 
1905 FOS1TION IN Government. Effect was given to those relating to . 

co-operative credit by the Co-operative Credit 
Societies Act of 1904. Those relating to agricultural problems led to 
the great expansion of the Imperial and provincial departments of 
agriculture which dates from 1905. The position on the eve of this 
expansion may be summed up as follows. Whilst there was evidence 
of keen desire on the part of the provincial agricultural depart- 
ments to embark on schemes of agricultural research and improve- 
ment, developments in this direction were somewhat hampered 
by the limitations imposed by the policy of the Government of 
India in insisting upon statistical and economic investigations as an 
essential preliminary to any schemes of agricultural improvement. In 
their review of the Report of the Famine Commission of 1880, the 
Government of India had placed definitely in the forefront of the 
duties of an agricultural department, the collection and study of 
vital, economic atid agricultural facts and conditions with a view to 
rendering the information thus obtained of practical use. - They had 
also enjoined on agricultural departments the duty of organising famine 
relief. The gist of their orders was, in fact, that scientific enquiry 
and research in the laboratory and in the field on agricultural 
matters mifct be deferred until the statistical enquiries were complete 


and until the facts so obtained had been analysed for the purpose 
of securing the greatest possible measure of protection against famine. 
In short, the Government of India insisted that the thorough adaptation 
of the existing revenue systems to agricultural facts and conditions 
should take precedence of agricultural experiments. The absence of 
reliable knowledge of existing conditions had been borne in upon the 
Government of India by the breakdown of their machinery when faced 
by recurrent periods of famine and scarcity and they had wisely decided 
to set their house in order in this respect before launching out in the new 
direction of agricultural research and experiment. The grim spectre of 
famine was before them and it was to combat this that all their plans and 
policies were directed. 

Their instructions were loyally carried out by the provinces but this 
did not prevent spasmodic efforts towards agricultural improvement. 
The awakening of interest in agricultural science in England had reacted 
on India and there were indications of a keenness for agricultural research 
in this country before the facilities for giving practical effect to it became 
available. We make no apology for passing under rapid review the 
efforts at agricultural advance which were made in the different provinces 
before 1905. Such a review is of interest if only as showing how little of 
permanent value can be accomplished by enthusiasm which lacks the 
solid basis of a definite policy and an efficient organisation. The lesson 
is not without its moral to-day. 

18. To Bombay must be assigned the credit of priority in attempts 

at agricultural improvement. Cotton, as the most 

AGRICULTURE IN important crop of the presidency and one of special 

To IE iuoT 1N ES rRIUB interest to the East India Company, first attracted 
(*) BOMBAY. attention and, as early as 1788, the Directors of the 

Company urged that encouragement should be 
given to its production and improvement, but the experiments to this 
end which were carried out during the next hundred years had little 
effect on the bulk of the crop. In 1839, the Court of Directors sent out 
twelve American planters to teach the local cultivators how to grow and 
clean cotton. Three of these were allotted to Bombay and it is only 
in the Dharwar district of that presidency that there has been any 
survival of their work in India. In Bombay, as elsewhere, the tendency 
of the earlier workers on agriculture was to aim at the improvement 
of particular crops by the introduction of exotic varieties rather than to 
attempt the improvement of the system of agriculture in general. Spas- 
modic and unsystematic efforts of this character led nowhere and it was 
not until the formation of an agricultural department in 1883 with the 
late Mr. E. C. Ozanne as Director that any real advance was made. In 
accordance with the policy of the Government of India which has been 
described in preceding paragraphs, his duties, for the first few years after 
his appointment, were mainly statistical and connected with land 
revenue assessments, but a superintendent of experimental farms was 
appointed in 1890, and thereafter progress was rapid. The first holder 
of the new appointment was the late Dr. Mollison, afterwards Inspector 


General of Agriculture in India, and it was not long before he succeeded 
in training what, for that period, was a highly efficient subordinate 

In Bombay, as in some other provinces, considerable attention was 
devoted to agricultural education even before the formation of a 
separate department of agriculture. The necessity of improving Indian 
agriculture by the adoption of scientific methods came under the con- 
sideration of the Government after the famine of 1876-77 and it was 
decided that steps should be taken to train a number of Indians in scien- 
tific agriculture and an agricultural class for this purpose was opened at 
the College of Science at Poona in 1879. As no agricultural department 
then existed, the men from this class were drafted into the Revenue 
Department. The course was made a practical one in 1880, when a 
farm was attached to the class. The recommendation of the Famine 
Commission of 1880 that provincial agricultural departments should 
be created throughout India led to recognition of the necessity for men 
with higher agricultural training than the class provided and a 
committee appointed to consider the form this training should take 
recommended the institution of a degree in agriculture at the Bombay 
University. It was not, however, until 1890 that a diploma in 
agriculture was instituted by the university and agriculture first 
received university recognition in India. The diploma was granted 
to candidates who had successfully passed through a three years' course 
at the College of Science or the Baroda College . This course underwent 
many vicissitudes. The diploma conferred few privileges ass regards 
admission to government service. For this reason, it became unpopular 
and, in 1895, there were no applicants for admission to the college of 
Science. In 1899, it was replaced by a course in which special stress 
was laid on practical agriculture and which led to the diploma of 
Licentiate in Agriculture. The Poona Agricultural College was opened 
in 1905, and in 1908 the degree of B.Ag. was instituted. 

19. A practical interest in agriculture in Madras was awakened as 

early as 1863 by the presentation to his Council 

(w) MADRAS. rf ft note by ^ Q overnor> & r William Denison, in 

which he drew attention to " the continuous cropping, the deficiency 
of manure and its consumption as fuel, the defective implements, 
the lack of trees, the poor cattle and the want of accurate knowledge 
and statistics.' ' The Government of Madras not unwisely considered 
that irrigation, communications, education, cheap justice and careful 
assessments were the chief means of stimulating agriculture, but they 
allowed some virtue to implements. An order was, therefore, placed 
in England, for " a steam plough, steam harrows and cultivators, seed 
drills, horse hoes, threshing machines and winnowers, chaff cutters and 
water lifts." To find employment for this elaborate consignment, 350 
acres of land at Saidapet, some five miles from Madras, which had lapsed 
to Government, were entrusted in 1864 to a committee of amateur 
enthusiasts which undertook to conduct a full trial and exhibition of 
the agricultural implements received from England, a full trial of 

artificial manures and an exhibition to the people of the improved 
system of agriculture. The committee laboured heroically at its great 
task until 1871 by which time it may be assumed that its patience and 
the implements were worn out. Its failure to accomplish anything of 
value is easily explained. No preliminary investigation of local con- 
ditions had been made, no staff for experimental or propaganda work 
had%een trained. The soil at Saidapet was not even typical of any large 
or important area of the presidency. It was merely assumed that what 
had proved successful in the West would be equally successful in the 
East. When the committee abandoned its self-imposed task, the farm 
passed under official control and the next decade was occupied in dis* 
cussions of policy and in an attempt to work out a scheme of agricultural 
education. " A complete and high class public agricultural college " 
was established at Saidapet in 1876. In 1884, the control of the college 
was transferred entirely from the Board of Revenue to the Director of 
Public Instruction with whom it remained until the reorganisation of the 
Agricultural Department in 1905-06, and, in 1885, except for the small 
portion which remained attached to the college, the farm was abolished. 
Although, after 1885, the presidency nominally possessed an agricultural 
department of which a Member of the Board of Revenue, the Commis- 
sioner of Revenue Settlement, Land Records and Agriculture, was the 
head, its functions, as in Bombay, were for long restricted to statistical 
and economic enquiries. The history of Madras agriculture from 1863 
until towards the end of the century falls into three periods. The first 
witnessed the ascendancy of the idea of a model farm worked on western 
methods, the second was dominated by a barren discussion on agricul- 
tural education and, in the third, agricultural effort was blighted by the 
insistence on the importance of statistics. None the less, in spite of 
1 he difficulties under which they laboured, the work done by Mr. W. R. 
Robertson during his long tenure of office, as Principal of the college 
and Superintendent of the experimental station at Saidapet, and 
subsequently by Mr. C. A. Benson, as Deputy Director of Agriculture, 
left its mark on the development of the department after the 
reorganisation of 1905. In that development, former students of the 
Saidapet College played no inconsiderable part. 

Theory and academic discussion had, however, to yield to the forces 
of nature when the staple crops of Madras were attacked by disease. 
From 1895 to 1897, the area under sugarcane in the Godavari district 
steadily declined owing to the ravages of " red rot " ; in 1898, complaints 
were received from the Madras Chamber of Commerce of the deteriora- 
tion of groundnuts : in 1903 and 1904, the diseases of pepper attracted 
attention. Natural causes thus forced the hands of Government and 
compelled them to invoke the aid of science. Dr. Barber was engaged 
as Economic Botanist in 1898 and, in 1901, was allowed to lease land in 
Godavari for experiments directed to the discovery of disease resistant 
varieties of cane ; foreign seeds of groundnut were imported and dis- 
tributed through Collectors to selected cultivators ; a farm was opened 
on the west coast for the investigation of diseases of pepper. In the 
light of the policy thus inaugurated, the claims of cotton and other fibres 

could not be ignored and, in 1901, two farms were opened for the study 
of cotton, one at Bellary and the other in Tinnevelly, and another for 
agaves in the Anantapur district. In 1904, a farm for exotic irrigated 
cotton was opened at Hagari in the Bellary district. A foundation was 
thus laid on which it was easy to superimpose further development when 
the new era of agricultural advance commenced in 1905. 


20. The first steps towards the formation of an agricultural depart- 
ment in what are now the United Provinces were 

taken in 1875 when Sir John Strachey, the Lieute- 
nant Governor, obtained sanction to the creation 
of a temporary appointment of Director of Agriculture and Commerce 
for five years, an appointment which ultimately became permanent and 
the first holder of which was Mr. (afterwards Sir) Edward Buck. The 
instructions to the Director of Agriculture were ' to establish and prove 
to Indian agriculturists the advantages to be gained from small improve- 
ments such as they are able with the means at their disposal to carry 
out, and to make experiments as to staples and industries which it 
may be possible to introduce, if new, or to familiarise and improve if 
already existing in the country." Special attention was devoted to 
sericulture, the improvement of indigenous fibres and the manufacture 
of a finer grade of tobacco. There were already in existence three model 
farms which had been managed by district officers and these were taken 
over by the new department. A silk farm was opened in the Dehra 
Dun district, a tobacco farm at Ghazipur and a fruit farm in the Kuniaon 
Hills. The farm at Cawnpore which was to be the nucleus of the depart- 
ment's development was started on rented land in 1881. One of the 
model farms mentioned above had been at Cawnpore and tradition 
ascribes its establishment to the interest displayed in indigo cultivation 
by one of the earliest Collectors of the district. Tobacco arid sericulture 
proved a failure but the well established fruit and potato trade of the 
province owes its origin to the work on the Kumaon farm . 

It is interesting to note that arboriculture was one of the branches of 
work entrusted to the department. Arrangements were made for 
providing nurseries for district arboriculture and for planting road-side 
trees. The work has been systematically carried on to the present day 
and the fine avenues of the province testify to the efficiency of the 
operations. In the early eighties, attention was directed to the improve- 
ment of existing wells and the construction of new ones, a branch of work 
in which the department has always been prominent. The first results 
were not satisfactory and little progress was made until it was realised 
that the main obstacle to the successful construction of wells by zamindars 
and others was the uncertainty of finding a sufficient supply of water 
without the information obtained from a preliminary boring. When this 
fact was appreciated, a small boring staff was appointed which has 
gradually expanded to its present dimensions. 

Other problems with which the department concerned itself were cattle 
breeding, the reclamation of alkali (usar) and of ravine lands, experi- 
ments in breeding for staple in cotton and the improvement of sugarcane 


crushing plant. Whilst the work on cattle breeding was not itself a success 
owing to the lack of a definite policy, the experiments in reclaiming usar 
land led directly to a development which had an important bearing on 
the cattle question. In these experiments, plots of land were taken up 
in different parts of the province and subjected to treatment. They 
were fenced and, in some cases, flooded and, when grass came up, it was 
gra%4 by cattle for the sake of manure. This led to enclosure, the 
keeping of small herds and the sale of milk which proved the beginning 
of a dairy industry. The farm at Cherat near Aligarh was placed 
in charge of Mr. Keventer who eventually took it over from the 
Agricultural Department and the well-known Aligarh dairy farm thus 
originated in the Cherat usar farm. Although, at the time, the reclama- 
tion of ravine lands and their conversion into fuel and fodder reserves 
went little further than demonstrating the feasibility of the scheme, it 
pointed to the possibilities of work which, in recent years, has been taken 
up on an extensive scale. The experiments in introducing long staple 
cotton failed, owing 1^0 the absence of trained officers and to lack of 
continuity, but the Cawnpore -American variety is probably a survival ot 
the efforts in this direction. The departmental workshops at Cawnpore 
date back to the eighties of the last century. Iron cane-crushers rapidly 
became popular and private firms soon took over the work of distribution 
from the department. 

Work in the nineties proceeded on similar lines. The outstanding 
event of the period was the opening of the school at Cawnpore which was 
to develop into the Cawnpore Agricultural College but the aim of which 
at the outset was to train teachers and to turn out .subordinate revenue 
officials with some agricultural knowledge. In 1900, it. was realised 
that the superior staff of the department which then consisted of a Direc- 
tor and an assistant director was insufficient for its growing needs and, 
in 1901, a deputy director of agriculture was added to it. In 1904, an 
economic botanist was appointed and new farms were opened. 

It will be seen that, from the outset, the Department of Agriculture in 
the United Provinces possessed a breadth of vision which was unusual at 
the time. Whilst there were failures, due mainly to lack of expert 
guidance and of continuity of effort, much of its early work stood the 
test of time and proved an excellent foundation for the expansion which 
came with the systematic organisation of agricultural departments 
throughout India. 

21. For purposes of historical rqjfcrospect, it will be convenient to dis- 
regard the administrative distributions of recent years 
(to) BENGAL. and to include Bihar and Orissa in Bengal of 
which it formed part until 1912. As early 
as 1871, seven model farms were established in various parts of 
Bengal, but these disappeared in the famine troubles of 1874. One 
of them was at Shillong in Assam which was not constituted a separate 
province until 1874. A separate department of agriculture in Bengal 
was constituted in 1885 but its policy did not include research and the 

only expert officers attached to it were two students who had returned 
from an agricultural training at Cirencester. Two experimental farms 
were started on estates under the Court of Wards at Dumraon and 
Burdwan. Another was opened at Sibpur in 1887-88 to which it was 
intended that an agricultural educational institution should ultimately 
be attached. Demonstration farms followed in 1889-90 when five of 
them were started in the Burdwan Raj in order to bring home tar the 
cultivators the advantages of certain improvements which were 
considered to have been proved on the experimental farms. More 
experimental and demonstration farms were opened in the following 
years but it was not until 1904 that a deputy director of agriculture 
was appointed. 

The question of agricultural education was taken up seriously in 1895- 
96 when agricultural classes were opened at the Sibpur Engineering 
College and .encouragement was given to specialised agricultural education 
by the allotment of a certain number of appointments in public service 
to students who had received such education. This arrangement 
continued until the establishment of the Sabour Agricultural College in 
1910. In general, it may be said that, prior to 1905, the staff of the 
Agricultural Department in Bengal was far too small to make any impres- 
sion on the vast area of the province. 

22. An agricultural department was nominally created in Assam in 
1882, but its only concern with agriculture was the 
(v) ASSAM. organisation of crop-cutting experiments on winter 

rice, mustard and sugarcane. In 1885-86, when 
the department became the Department of Land Records and 
Agriculture, a beginning was made in the direction of improving 
the local breeds of cattle. Experiments in growing various crops 
were also carried out through the agency of district officers and 
those with exotic potatoes led to the establishment of what is now the 
very flourishing potato industry of the Khasi Hills. The only govern- 
ment farm at this period was a fruit plantation which was started in 
1885. It was not until 1897 that an expert agricultural officer was 
appointed to the department. In that year, Mr. B. C. Basu, a deputy 
collector from Bengal who had received agricultural training in England, 
became assistant director. An experimental farm was established in 
Upper Shillong, the cultivation of potatoes was extended and a small 
dairy with fourteen, cows was started. This represents the sum of the 
work of the Assam Agricultural Dj^rtment prior to 1905. 

23. If an agri-horticultural society can be regarded as the beginning, 

the foundation of an agricultural department, in 

PROVIDES ENTEAL tlLe Central Provinces may be considered to date 

from 1862 when such a society was opened in 

Nagpur. An agricultural survey of the cotton tracts by district agency 

began in 1861. A cotton commissioner was appointed for the Central 

Provinces and Berar in 1866-67. He experimented both with exotic 

varieties of cotton and with the indigenous varieties and endeavoured 

to introduce the cultivation of cotton into tracts in which it was 
then unknown. The record of these attempts is, however, that 
of a series of failures, due to lack of knowledge of the climatic conditions 
suitable to the growing of cotton, lack of skill on the part of the cultivator 
and lack of efficient supervision by Government. Much greater success 
attended the efforts of the commissioner to improve the conditions in 
which cotton was brought to the market by inducing dealers to give 
better prices for cleaner cotton. Work of substantial value was done at 
this time in improving the management of cotton markets, in increasing 
their number, in encouraging European and Indian merchants to start 
gins and presses, in assisting dealers in cotton and exporters to Bombay 
in various ways and in improving the arrangements at the railway stations 
for the acceptance of bales. The model seed farm which was opened at 
Hinganghat was soon closed but another farm which was placed in charge 
of a gardener from Kew was opened at Nagpur on an area commanded 
by tank irrigation. The yearly reports of this farm up till 1882-83 are, 
however, a continuous record of failure, due to the lack of expert guidance 
of the gardeners from Kew who, whatever their merits as gardeners, 
were as ignorant of agricultural theory as they were deficient in practical 
experience of agriculture. A change came in 1883 when Mr. (now Sir) 
Bamfylde Fuller became Director of Agriculture. A new site was 
selected for the Nagpur farm and experiment*s of a more practical charac- 
ter were undertaken. The scheme of work was again overhauled in 
1893 on the advice of the Agricultural Chemist to the Government of 
India and work on the lines then laid down continued until the reorgani- 
sation of 1905. In 1888-89, an agricultural class for the training of the 
land records and revenue staff wafe opened at Nagpur. In 1905, the 
situation in the Central Provinces was that the Nagpur farm had made 
its influence felt as a centre fbr the dissemination of agricultural knowledge 
amongst the cultivators and had also stimulated an interest in agricultural 
matters amongst officials. In addition, by a process of trial and error, 
much useful knowledge, some of it, it is true, of a negative character, had 
been acquired and existing agricultural practices were well understood. 
Some steps had been taken in the training of an agricultural staff and 
conditions were ripe for a great forward movement. 

24. As in other provinces, the recommendations of the Famine 
(vii) THE PUNJAB Commission of 1880 resulted in the creation of 
a department of land records and agriculture 
in the Punjab but, although a few ^connected^experiments were made 
with exotic varieties of cotton, ^sJt and maijsei nothing serious was 
attempted in the way of agricultural experimeffc until, in 1901, a small 
farm of 56 acres was opened at Lyallpur in the Chenab Colony which 
^ras staffed by agricultural assistants who had been trained at Cawnpore. 
In 1904, the first post of- deputy director of agriculture in the province 
was sanctioned and an economic botanist for work in the United 
Provinces and the Punjab was engaged and stationed at 
Saharanpur. The Punjab had thus the advantage of starting the new era 
with a practically clean slate. 


25. Whilst the serious study of scientific agriculture in Burma is a 
matter of the last twenty years only, efforts 
(m) BURMA. indirectly tending to the improvement of agri- 
culture began at a much earlier date. On the annexation of 
what was known as the Province of Pegu after the second Burmese 
War of 1852, it was found that the population was sparse and 
cultivation in all respects very backward. It was not long, therefore, 
before attempts were made to attract population to the unoccupied 
tracts of the province by the construction of protective works such as 
the Myanaung, Sittang and Maubin embankments. The Govern- 
ment seem also to have considered that both the crops grown and the 
methods of cultivation were capable of improvement and, for some years 
after the annexation of the province, efforts were made to introduce 
improved varieties of paddy such as Carolina, and western types of 
agricultural implements. No success was obtained as regards implements 
but there is some reason to believe that the Carolina or another imported 
variety of paddy was the ancestor of the present Moulmein (kaukkyi) 
paddy, which is the best variety of paddy grown in Burma. Largely as 
the result of the protective embankments, the delta was brought rapidly 
under paddy cultivation. 

The annexation of Upper Burma in 1887 confronted the Government 
with an entirely new set of agricultural problems. The light rainfall 
over the greater part of the newly acquired territory made the mainten- 
ance and improvement of the existing irrigation canals and the construc- 
tion of others necessary. The Goverjiment at that period rightly attached 
more importance to the establishment of conditions which would 
make agricultural improvement possible than to efforts to obtain that 

For the eighteen years after the annexation^ Upper Burma, although 
there was a department of land records and agriculture, little was done 
beyond maintaining a few experimental gardens in remote parts of the 
province. Very moderate success attended most of the experiments 
carried out in these gardens but they undoubtedly gave the Burmans 
a taste for English vegetables and fruit and to them must be attributed 
part of the credit for the introduction of groundnuts into the dry zone 
and of wheat and potatoes in the Shan States and the Chin Hills. The 
early efforts of the department cannot, therefore, be considered altogether 
fruitless in view of the fact that the increased agricultural wealth of the 
province which has resulted from the introduction of groundnuts has far 
exceeded the expenditu$fe on the d%>artment up to date and that which 
is likely to be intoi^d for many^fcars to come. As elsewhere, the 
chief lessons derived fifom the experiments \vere the necessity for tlfle 
expert supervision of experimental cultivation and the desirability of a 
close study of indigenous crops and of the existing method of culti* 
vation before efforts were made to introduce extraneous varieties. No 
attempt to impart instruction in agriculture either in agricultural colleges 
or in ordinary schools was made during these yea,rs and, in general, it may 
be said that, prior to 1905, the Agricultural Department had made little or 
no impression upon the indigenous agricultural methods of the province. 

26. Such, in brief outline, is the history of what had been accom- 
plished by the provincial departments of agriculture 

T OSITION IN P^ or * *^' ^ wou ^ De ^le to pretend that the 
THE PROVINCES IN sum total of their achievements was a large one 
1905. but, in view of the difficulties they encountered, it 

is surprising that so much was done. Their work 
had, at least, the merit that it attracted attention to the importance 
of applying scientific investigation to questions of agricultural improve- 
ment. The magnitude of the problems which confronted them was so 
great that it was difficult for them to get down to essentials and they had 
neither the trained staff nor the organisation to carry into effect such 
recommendations as they were in a position to make. They did not, 
however, labour altogether in vain. From the failures which followed 
many immature efforts, there were lessons of value to be learnt. It was 
found, for example, that the improvement of indigenous varieties of crops 
by selection offered much greater possibilities than the introduction of 
exotic varieties. The influence of environment upon the latter was also 
established, A fe\v outstanding successes were achieved in introducing 
new crops such as groundnut in Burma and Madras, potatoes in Assam 
and in the Kumaon Hills, fruit in the Kumaon Hills and American cotton 
in Bombay and the United Provinces. A vast amount of data, both 
positive and negative in character, was accumulated which proved of the 
utmost use to a scientific staff when it was appointed and organised . That 
staff became available as the result of the complete change of policy in 
matters of agricultural research and improvement which was- brought 
about by the Government of Lord Curzon to whose far-sighted vision 
much of the progress of Indian agriculture since this date must be 

27 On the 4th June 1903, the Government of India addressed to the 
Secretary of State a despatch with which was sub- 
THE REORGANISA- mitt ed a scheme for the establishment of an agricul- 
TION OF 1905 tural research institute, an experimental farm and 

THE Pu^TllESEAiicH an agricultural college at Pusa in the Darbhanga 
INSTITUTE. district of Bihar, where a large government estate 

had been placed at their disposal by the Government 
of Bengal for the purpose. This despatch marks the beginning of 
organised agricultural research in India. To the establishment of the 
research station, Lord Curzon devoted the greater portion of a generous 
donation of C30,000 which had been given him by an American gentleman, 
Mr. Henry Phipps.of Chicago, to be Applied, at his* discretion, to some 
object of public utility, preferably connected with scientific research. 
Mr. Phipps's name is thus honourably connected for all* time with the 
research laboratories at Pusa. In pursuance of the scheme outlined in 
the despatch, a research station with fully equipped laboratories, an 
experimental farm, an agricultural college for the training of students 
and a cattle farm for the improvement of the local breeds of cattle were 
established on the Pusa estate. The scattered scientists of the Imperial 
Agricultural Department, the Agricultural Chemist, the Mycologist and 
the Entomologist were brought together at Pusa as speedily as possible 


and to them in 1904 were added a Director of the institute and, in 1905, 
an agri-horticulturist (subsequently designated Imperial Agriculturist), 
a biological botanist (subsequently designated Imperial Economic Bota- 
nist), an agricultural bacteriologist and a supernumerary agriculturist. 

In view of subsequent developments, it may be of interest to set out 
briefly the main functions which it was intended that Pusa should fulfil 
in regard to research and experiment on the one hand and to agricultural 
education on the other. It was anticipated that the farm would serve 
as a model for similar institutions under provincial governments. On this 
farm would be initiated lines of enquiry, the soundness of which would be 
examined before they were recommended for trial under local conditions 
on the provincial experimental farms. Varieties of crops would be tested 
and improved and the seed of improved varieties would be grown and 
distributed. The results reported from provincial farms would be tested 
under different conditions and more highly skilled supervision and, in 
particular, continuity would be secured for promising experiments begun, 
but, for some reason, discontinued in a province. Finally, the farm 
would be utilised for the practical training of students at the Imperial 
Agricultural College and would provide experimental field areas for 
the scientific experts. 

On the educational side, the view which was taken at the outset was 
that an agricultural college was required at Pusa not only to provide for 
the needs of Bengal which had no college of its own but also to serve 
as a model for, and to raise the standard of> agricultural colleges in other 
provinces and to provide for a more complete and efficient agricultural 
education than was then possible in any of the existing institutions. 
The aim was thus twofold. In the first place, it was intended to train 
students who were not in a position to be admitted to any of the provincial 
colleges and schools. In the second place, it was intended to provide a 
higher course of training for those who had studied at provincial 
institutions and who desired to qualify for professorships, research 
work or posts requiring special scientific attainments. 

28. In no respect has the anticipation that Pusa would prove a focus 
of agricultural activity for all India been entirely 
SI " faille*. Into the reasons for this on the research 
side, we shall enter into more detail later. In 
regard to the experimental work, it will suffice to say that the limi- 
tations imposed by conditions of soil and climate on the capacity of 
the farm to fulfil all the objects for which it was intended appear to have 
been overlooked. The soil of the Pusa farm, though well suited 
to growing most of the important Indian crops, is not typical of arty 
large area of the province in which it is situated. Even if this serious 
drawback had not existed, the rapid development of the research 
work done by the provincial departments would, in any case, have' 
rendered it less and less necessary for them to look to it for assistance 
in work which could be carried out far more satisfactorily in their own 
local conditions. As regards its educational activities, owing to the 
establishment of fully equipped agricultural colleges wa the provinces 


Pusa was never called upon to provide for the first of the groups 
of students mentioned above for which it was originally intended. 
In respect of higher agricultural education, the weight attached in 
recruiting for the Indian Agricultural Service to the possession of degrees 
in honours in science of British universities or of diplomas from recog- 
nised schools of agriculture in Great Britain and the superior facilities 
for post-graduate work which were regarded as available at those uni- 
versities and schools meant that Pusa had nothing to offer which the 
advanced student did not, as a rule, prefer to obtain elsewhere. Until 
the end of 1923, its teaching activities were confined to short courses in 
special subjects. In November of that year, with a view to enabling 
candidates for the higher ranks of the agricultural services to qualify 
for them in India, post-graduate courses of two years' duration were 
instituted at Pusa. These courses are at present being undertaken 
by nine students. 

Throughout its existence, therefore, Pusa has been regarded almost 
entirely as a research institute in which fundamental problems of impor- 
tance to the whole of India are investigated and special lines of experi- 
ment can be undertaken for the provincial departments. The extent 
to which it has been successful in fulfilling this function will be discussed 
subsequently. So far as equipment is concerned, it is admirably adapted 
for the purpose. Its laboratories, museums, libraries and lecture rooms 
challenge comparison with those of any similar institution in eastern or 
western countries. Since the abolition of the post of Inspector General 
of Agriculture in 1911 , the directorship of the institute has been combined 
with the duties of Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India, who 
is assisted in the internal management of the institute by a joint director 
who is a senior member of the staff. The institute has the following 
sections : agricultural (including cattle breeding), bacteriological, 
botanical, chemical, entomological and mycological. A physiological 
chemist has been appointed for work on animal nutrition, an agronomist 
Ijas been added to the agricultural and a dipterist to the entomological 
sections. The appointment of a whole-time Director of the institute, of 
an assistant to the Agricultural Adviser, of a biological chemist for work 
on crops and of an agricultural engineer has been sanctioned but the 
posts have not yet filled. The headquarters of the Sugar Bureau 
which was formed in 1919 for the purpose of collecting and co-ordi- 
nating information regarding the sugar industry and furnishing advice to 
cane growers and sugar manufacturers are at Pusa. The bureau, of 
which an officer of the Indian Agricultural Service is secretary, is still 
on a temporary basis. 

29. Pusa, though by far the most important, is not the only research 

station directly under the control of the Govern- 

OTHER ACTIVITIES ment of India. The Institute of Animal Hus- 

DEPAET^ENT IMPBBI OF bandl 7 and Dairying at Bangalore, to which centre 

AOBICULTUEE. the animal nutrition work formerly carried on at 

Pusa, has been transferred, the cattle breeding and 

dairy farms at Karnal, Bangalore and Wellington, the creamery at 


Anand and the Sugarcane Breeding Station at Coimbatore are also in the 
administrative charge of the Agricultural Adviser. For reasons of 
administrative convenience, the work of the Imperial Institute of Veteri- 
nary Research at Muktesar, though not strictly agricultural, has ajao 
been placed under his control. It should be added that the Agricultural 
Adviser has no direct authority over the- provincial departments of 
agriculture but merely advises them when called upon to do so. 

30. A recent development of considerable importance to Indian 
agriculture may here conveniently be mentioned. 

As the result of the Re p rt of the Indian Cotton 

Committee of 1917-18, the Indian Central Cotton 
Committee was constituted in 1921 and was given definite legal status 
by the provisions of the Indian Cotton Cess Act of 1923. The Committee 
at present consists of 42 members in all. Three of these are appointed 
by the Government of India, of whom one is the Agricultural Adviser 
to the Government of India who is ex-officio president of the Committee. 
Nine members are representatives of the provincial agricultural depart- 
ments, seven of cotton merchants and ginners, six of cotton spinners, 
eleven of cotton growers and six of Indian States. The secretary and 
assistant secretary are members of the Indian Agricultural Service. 
The work of the Committee falls under four main heads. It is concerned 
with the improvement of cotton marketing and the prevention of malprac- 
tices both by legislative measures and by constructive action. It is an 
advisory committee in regard to the policy both agricultural and 
commercial to be followed in promoting the development of cotton 
growing in the different provinces. It is a bureau of information for the 
agricultural departments, the trade and the general public. Agricultural 
and technological research on cotton is its special care. Technological 
research is under its direct control and it has its own technological 
laboratory in Bombay. Agricultural research is provided for by research 
grants to provincial agricultural departments for specific investigations 
and to the Institute of Plant Industry at Indore, which was establish^ 
in 1924. This institute is practically a central research institution foi 
cotton problems and, though subsidised by some of the Central Indian 
States, to which its Director acts as agricultural adviser, is mainly 
dependent on the grants it receives from the Central Cotton Committee. 
The finances of the Committee are provided by a cess of two annas a 
bale on all cotton used in mills, in British India and exported from India. 
The cesajtt levied under the provisions of the Indian Cotton Cess Act of 
1923. tJsF present income of the Committee is about Rs. 6 lakhs 
per annum. 

The Indian Central Cotton Committee is, in short, a central body 
charged with the promotion of all measures which will tend to further 
the improvement of cotton growing in India. We have discussed its 
constitution and functions in some detail as the establishment for the 
improvement of a particular crop oC an all-India organisation, on which 
all interests from the grower to the manufacturer are represented, marked 
a definite break with previous traditions. The Committee is so far the 


only one of its kind in India and one of the questions which we shall 
later discuss is the possibility of constituting a similar organisation for 
the improvement of other crops, 

SI. Lord Curzon's Government fully realised that a central institution 

under the direct control of the Government of India 

THE BBOBOANISA- could only be the apex of their scheme and that 

TI ?S)PBO^CTAL. sucl1 an "Notation would be valueless unless there 

were, at the same time, a real development of 
agriculture in the provinces. In 1905,' therefore, the Government of 
India announced their intention of setting aside annually a sum of 
Rs. 20 lakhs, which was subsequently increased to Rs. 24 lakhs, for 
the development of agricultural research, experiment, demonstration 
and education in the provinces. The aim which the Government set 
before themselves was the establishment of agricultural colleges with 
a course of three years' duration in all the provinces and the provision 
of an expert staff for these institutions for purposes of research as well 
as for instruction. The superior staff of the colleges would consist of 
an expert agriculturist, an economic botanist, an agricultural chemist, 
an entomologist and a mycologist, one of whom would discharge the 
duties of principal of the college. The link between the colleges and 
the districts would be provided by an experimental farm which would be 
established in each large tract in which the agricultural conditions 
were approximately homogenous and by numerous small demonstration 
farms which would carry the work on the experimental farms a stage 
further. The expert officers in charge of trie farms would be in close 
touch with the cultivators and would advise them in regard to the 
introduction of improved methods of agriculture. The scheme also 
provided for the appointment of a full-time Director of Agriculture in all 
the major provinces. The various expert appointments in the Imperial 
and provincial agricultural departments which it contemplated as well as 
those already in existence were constituted as an Imperial service 
known as the Indian Agricultural Service in 1906. 

$,ft is along the lines laid down in 1905 but, except for the interruptions 
Caused by the war, with an evei increasing staff, that the provincial 
departments of agriculture have since developed. The expansion of 
staff at the outset was not so rapid as had been anticipated. Whilst the 
view taken by the Secretary of State was that education was the principal 
feature of the scheme, he limited the establishment sanctioned for each 
agricultural college to an all-round agriculturist as principal of thegollege, 
an agricultural botanist and an agricultural chemist. In reuance 
of the scheme, colleges were started or reorganised at Poona, Cawnpore, 
Nagpur, Lyallpur, Coimbatore and Sabour. The college at Sabour 
was closed at the end of 1921. A college was opened at Mandalay 
in 1924. 

'It would cumber our Report with unnecessary detail if we were to 
give particulars of the various stages by which the provincial agricultural 
departments have reached their present development or of the strength 
of the staff of those departments as it stands to-day. A rough outline 

MO Y 28&3 


of their organisation will suffice for our present purpose. With the 
exception oi Bengal, which has only an agricultural school at Dacca, 
Bihar and Orissa and Assam, all the major provinces possess agricul- 
tural colleges which are fully equipped for the training of students to fill 
posts in the provincial and subordinate agricultural services arf| 
under private employers or to work on their own land. The colleges 
are also adequately equipped for research in the main branches 
of agricultural science, agriculture .proper, agricultural chemistry and 
economic botany. We would here state that we were greatly impressed 
in our inspection of the colleges, all of which we visited in the course of our 
enquiry, by the excellence of the buildings and equipment for purposes 
both of research and instruction. In both respects, they compare most 
favourably with similar institutions with which we are acquainted in 
other countries. Whilst all colleges have an agriculturist, agricultural 
chemist and economic botanist, other experts such as entomologists, 
mycologists, bacteriologists, soil physicists, crop specialists and agricul- 
tural engineers have been added to the staff of one or more of them as the 
need has arisen and as funds for recurring expenditure have been made 
available. In the result, the total strength of the scientific staff varies 
greatly from college to college. The heads of the various sections have 
hitherto been drawn from the Indian Agricultural Service ; the assistants 
from the provincial agricultural services. 

For district work, each province is divided into a number of circles. 
The officer in charge of a circle is known as a deputy director of agricul- 
ture and, hitherto, with few exceptions, has been a member of the Indian 
Agricultural Service. He is primarily responsible for the management 
of the experimental, seed and demonstration farms and demonstration 
plots in his circle as well as of seed and implement distribution and 
general agricultural propaganda. For this work he has a stafi of agricul : 
tural assistants drawn from the Provincial Agricultural Service and of 
fieldmen who belong to the Subordinate Agricultural Service. 

Although, from 1905 onwards, under the stimulus and direction furnishet} 
by the Government of India and with the assistance of substantial grantp 
from Imperial revenues, all provinces seriously undertook the develop- 
ment of their agricultural departments, progress was not everywhere 
equally rapid. Some provincial governments took a greater interest in 
the subject than others, an interest which, in most instances, was a close 
reflection of the state of provincial revenues. In all provinces, how- 
ever, it4| true to say that substantial advance had been made when the 
outbreak of the war led to a temporary suspension of activity. Many 
members of the staff, both European and Indian, joined the forces ; 
expenditure was kept down to the barest minimum ; recruitment was in 
abeyance ; no new work, except such as had a direct connection with 
military necessities, could be undertaken and the few officers who were 
left to carry on had to strain every nerve to keep alive work already* In 
progress. When hostilities ceased, much leeway had to be made up an$ 
the year 1920 may be said to mark a new starting point in the history 
of the agricultural departments in India both on that ground and on 


account of the constitutional changes which followed the passing of tte 
^Government of India'Act of 1919. 

32. The changes in the relation between the Government of India 
and the provincial governments which followed 
on *he Montagu-Chelmsford Report of 1918 and the 
passing of the Government of India Act of 1919 are 
too well known to need explanation here. We are solely concerned with 
their bearing on rural development generally. With the exception of 
forests, elsewhere than in Bombay and Burma, and irrigation, the admin- 
istration of all the departments which are closely connected with rural 
welfare, agriculture, veterinary, co-operation, local self-government, 
medical, public health and sanitation and education, has been transferred 
in all the major provinces, now known as " Governors' Provinces/ 5 to the 
Governor acting with a Minister. This transfer is subject to some small 
limitations as is explained below. The position of the Governor and the 
Minister in regard to the administration of " transferred " subjects 
is defined in the Instrument of Instructions to Governors where it is 
laid down that, in considering a Minister's advice and deciding whether 
or not there is sufficient cause in any case to dissent from his opinion, 
the Governor shall have due regard to his relations with the Legislative 
Oouncil and to the wishes of the people of the province as expressed 
by their representatives therein. For the administration of the 
departments which are most closely connected with the subject matter 
of our enquiry, the Minister is thus, in fact, responsible to the local 
Legislative Council, to which he has to look to vote the funds required 
for it. 

The transfer of the rural development departments is, as has been 
mentioned, not entirely complete. Under item No. 33 of Schedule I 
to Rule 3 of the Devolution Rules made under section 45 of 
the Government of India Act, " central agencies and institutions for 
research (including observatories) and for professional or technical 
training or promotion of special studies " remain a central subject. 
Accordingly, the institutions mentioned in paragraph 29 have continued, 
or been placed, under the administrative control of the Agricultural 
Adviser to the Government of India. It should also be mentioned that 
protection against destructive insects and pests and plant diseases and 
prevention of animal diseases have been " transferred." But, under 
items 10 and 11 of the Schedule just mentioned, this transfer is " subject 
to legislation by the Indian Legislature to such extent as^ay be 
declared by any Act of the Indian Legislature." Rule 49 of theTDevolu- 
tion Rules referred to above governs, with thes3 exception^, the general 
position of the Government of India vis-d-vi* the provinces in all matters 
relating to agriculture, and it is, therefore, desirable to quote the rule 
in full. "The powers of superintendence, direction and control over 
the local Government of a Governor's province vested in the Governor 
Oeneral in Council under the Act shall in relation to transferred subjects 
be exercised only for the following purposes, namely : 

(1) to safeguard the administration of central subjects ; 
MO Y 286 3a 


(2) to decide questions arising between two provinces, in cases 
where the provinces concerned fail to arrive at an agreement ; and 

(3) to safeguard the due exercise and performance of any powers and 
duties possessed by, or imposed in connection with, or for the pur- 
poses of the following provisions of the Act, namely, section 29-A, 
section 30 (1-A\ Part VII-A, or of any rules made by, or with the 
sanction of, the Secretary of State in Council," 

A word should be added as to the financial relations between the 
Imperial and provincial governments in regard to the administration of 
transferred subjects. The rule on this subject will be found in the 
Note on page 1 of the " Book of Financial Powers " which derives 
its authority from section 21 of the Government of India Act. It is as 
follows : 

" Since the enactment to the Government of India Act, 1919, 
and of the Devolution Eules, it is not permissible to incur expenditure 
from central revenues on provincial subjects or to make assignments 
from central to provincial revenues for expenditure on a provincial 
subject except in so far as such expenditure represents payment for 
se vices rendered by the local Government." 

We shall have occasion to comment on the working of this rule in 
subsequent chapters of our Beport. 

33. We have mentioned that the Indian Agricultural Service was 

constituted in 1906. As for other all -India services, 

THE PBBSBNT POSI- recruitment for it was made by the Secretary 

Li of state for India - The p 8i ti n of the service 

VICE. under the new administration \\as not imme- 

diately defined and it 'was not until the Koyal 
Commission on the Superior Civil Services in India had repbrted 
in 1924 that it was decided that, for the purposes of local 
governments, no further recruitment should be made to the all-India 
services as such, operating in transferred fields, and that the 
personnel required for these branches of administration should, in future, 
be recruited by local governments. Recruitment to the Indian Agri- 
cultural Service has accordingly ceased. The constitutional changes have, 
however, in no way affected the status of existing members of the Indian 
Agricultural Service who retain all the rights of officers of all-India 
services working in the reserved field of administration. Local govern- 
ments are now empowered, by rules which were published in a Resolution 
of the Home Department of the Government of India dated April 1st, 
1926, to build up a Provincial Service to take over their duties. The 
intention is that the Provincial Service should develop and increase 
gradually, as by efflux of time or for other reasons, members of the 
Indian Agricultural Service cease to become available. Meanwhile, the 
two services will continue to exist side by side as long as any members 
of the Indian Agricultural Service remain. Although it is two years 
aince these rules were issued, the evidence we received showed that no 
definite decision has yet been reached in any province as to the manner 
in which the new superior provincial agricultural services, which are to be 


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substituted for the Indian Agricultural Service should be recruited, the 
qualifications which should be required from candidates seeking to enter 
them or the salary and other conditions which should be attached to them. 
Similarly, the Government of India have yet to decide hosv posts in 
the Imperial Agricultural Department should be filled. Except in regard 
to the Medical Department, the position in respect of other all-India 
services working in transferred departments is similar. It should be 
added that local governments have also been empowered to make rules 
regulating the existing provincial services to which they have always 
possessed pjwers oi appointment. 

34. Before we pass to consider in detail the agricultural and veterinary 
rn w , , m problems of India, We desire to record our apprecia- 

1IIE WORK OF THii. *-. r , i i j-iji 1 1 i -i 

AGRICULTURAL AND tion ot the work Which the agricultural and 
VETERINARY DEPART- veterinary services have done. The war sadly 
MENTS. interrupted the development and work of both 

departments and, after its conclusion, the agricultural servicevS in parti- 
cular had to face the loss of able officers through premature retirement . 
But despite all hindrances, the achievements of the departments, both 
in the fields of research and in the application of the fruits of that research, 
are a source of legitimate satisfaction to the officers who have made those 
achievements possible and should inspire both them and the new superior 
provincial services to fresh endeavours. 



35. In the preceding chapter, we have shown that, as the result of the- 
constitutional changes of 1919, the Government of 
THE CONSTITUTIONAL India divested themselves, except to a very limited 
POSITION. extent, of all powers of superintendence, direction, 

and control over the administration of " transferred " 
subjects of which, from the point of view of our enquiries, agricultural and 
veterinary subjects are the most important. Although the administration 
of central agencies and institutions for research and for professional and 
technical training was retained as a " central " subject, no specific provi- 
sion was made for co-ordinating the work of these with that of similar 
institutions in the provinces. Thus, since the Eeforms, the provincial 
departments have, in the all-important matter of research, been left 
without the stimulus of a central organisation which could guide and 
co-ordinate their policy and the fact must be faced that the lack of 
co-ordination has prejudicially affected progress. Although no specific 
provision has been made in the Constitution of 1919 for co - or d mating 
research work, either as between the central and provincial spheres or as 
between province and province, there is nothing inherent in that 
Constitution which prevents appropriate machinery being devised for 
that purpose. 

The basis of all agricultural progress is experiment. However efficient 
the organisation which is built up for demonstration and propaganda, 
unless that organisation is based on research, it is merely a house built 
on sand. In spite of the marked progress which has been made in many 
directions during the last quarter of a century, it is hardly an exaggera- 
tion to say that agricultural research in this country is still in its infancy. 
The claims of research have received a half-hearted recognition and the 
importance of its eificient organisation and conduct is still little under- 
stood. As will be seen from the paragraphs which immediately follow, 
the history of the scientific organisation of agriculture in other countries 
of wide extent and strong local administrations such as the United States 
of America, Canada and Australia should not make this comparative 
lack of appreciation of the need for organisation a matter of surprise. 
We believe that the time will come in India, as it has already come in 
those countries, when the indispensable part which a central organisa- 
tion has to play in the fields of agricultural research, and of rural 
development generally, will be fully recognised. 

We think, indeed, that, with the undoubted demand for an increase 
in the pace of agricultural progress, the time has even now come when 
Ifeere will be a general measure of support throughout the country for 
proposals designed to promote co-ordination of a more effective character 


than would be provided by the continued existence of the appointment 
of Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India and by conferences 
of Ministers and Directors of Agriculture and meetings of the Board of 
Agriculture. The numerous passages in our Keport in which we com- 
ment on the harmful results of the lack of co-ordination, which are now 
becoming only too apparent, and the evidence given before us on which 
those comments are based will, we hope, convince those who are still in 
doubt as to the justification for the recommendations we make to facilitate 

Before we proceed to discuss possible means of rectifying the present 
situation, it will, we think, be of interest to describe briefly the 
manner in which the question has been dealt within some other countries, 
the constitutions of which, though not exactly on the same lines as that 
of India, bear sufficient resemblance to it to make such a comparison of 
value. The countries we have selected for this purpose are Canada, the 
United States and Australia. Kepresentatives from all three countries, 
who were in a position to speak with special authority, were good enough 
to appear before us in London. 

36. Canada is the only one of the three countries in 

the constitution of which agriculture receives 

ORGANISATION FOB special mention. Agriculture and immigration 

AGRICULTURAL RE- , , , i j i. I'l^r 

SEARCH IN CANADA. are ^ 1C on v subjects in regard to which the 
British North America Act of 1867 recognises 
concurrent powers of legislation in the Parliament of Canada and the 
provincial legislatures. Section 95 of that Act lays down that, in each 
province, the legislature may from time to time make laws relating 
to agriculture in the province and that the Parliament of Canada may, 
from time to time, make laws in relation to agriculture in all or any of 
the provinces. It also lays down that provincial laws only have effect 
so far as they are not repugnant to any Act of the - Parliament of 

In pursuance of these provisions, the Federal Government have their 
own Department of Agriculture which carries out a considerable amount 
of research work on the experimental farms which are under 
its jurisdiction and which are scattered throughout the Dominion. 
They also maintain laboratories in connection with plant pathology, 
entomology, animal pathology, seed testing and dairy research at a 
number of stations. The provincial governments also possess and 
exercise the right of carrying on research work which is mainly under- 
taken at the agricultural colleges connected with the provincial univer- 
sities. This research work is frequently carried out in co-operation 
with the institutions under the control of the Federal Department of 
Agriculture but is, in some cases, carried on independently. Canada 
also possesses a Committee pf the Privy Council for Scientific and Indus- 
trial Kesearch which is designated the Research Council of Canada. 
The Council functions in a general advisory capacity in connection 
with all research work, not only in agriculture but in other fields. 
Its activities fall under three main heads, the training of 


research workers through the provision of bursaries, studentships and 
fellowships, the investigation of a number of special problems by the 
aid of grants to investigators, known as " assisted researches " and the 
encouragement of development of research by the organisation of the 
research workers of Canada into standing associate committees of the 
Research Council and by the appointment of special committees to 
the same end. The Council has no institutions under its immediate 
control. Education in Canada is a matter which comes entirely under 
provincial jurisdiction. The Federal Government has no concern with 
it, as it is a subject which has been specifically reserved to the provinces 
by the British North America Act. 

37. Neither in the Constitution of the United States of America of 
n^^ ,, 1787 nor in the Commonwealth of Australia 

vyxvGANIS ATION I'Olv r\f\r\ ' A! *.C 

AGRICULTURAL RE- Constitution Act of 1900 is there any specinc 
SEARCH IN THE mention of agriculture or agricultural research. In 
UNITED STATES. Australia, the development and supervision of all 

lands within State boundaries is the concern of the State governments 
but, in both countries, it is now recognised in very practical ways that 
agricultural research is a matter with which the Federal Government 
are very closely concerned. 

The United States, because of its resources and the long period over 
which efforts to promote agriculture by the action of the Federal Govern- 
ment have extended, provides more useful guidance than any other 
country for those attempting similar tasks. Some salient points in its 
experience may be noted. The first concern of the Federal Government 
was to provide for higher education in agriculture and certain other 
subjects, and, in 1862, the first Morrill Act endowed State colleges with 
grants of public land the revenues of which were to be applied to the 
promotion of agricultural education. The need for experimental work 
was soon felt and, in 1887, the Hatch Act provided grants-in-aid enabling 
States to create experimental stations, which were usually associated 
with the existing colleges. These experimental stations quickly 
commended themselves to the public, and, in 1906, the Adams 
Act added largely to their incomes. The additions to the 
knowledge of the methods required in improving agriculture 
accumulated by State experimental stations made it possible to 
initiate demonstration and propaganda work on a great scale and, in 
1914, the Smith-Lever Act provided a large fund for extension work. 
Finally, a competent staff of specialists having been trained, the people 
having realised the benefit of scientific assistance and the war having 
enforced the importance of economic studies, the Purnell Act was passed 
in 1925. This substantially increased the endowments of the experiment 
stations and extended their scope. The funds provided were " for 
paying the necessary expenses of conducting investigations or making 
experiments bearing directly on the production, manufacture, prepara- 
tion, use, distribution and marketing of agricultural products, and 
including such scientific researches as have for their purpose the establish- 
ment and maintenance of a permanent and efficient agricultural industry, 


and such economic and sociological investigations as have for their 
purpose the development and improvement of the rural home, and rural 
life, and for printing and disseminating the results of the said researches." 
Thus, beginning with the training of qualified investigators, and taking 
up, in the first instance, the somewhat narrow technical problems com- 
monly met with by agriculturists, the scope of agricultural research in 
the United States has been expanded in less than half a century 
until it covers all questions bearing on rural well-being. 

This extension has been brought about by co-operation between the 
Federal Government and tho States, and the expenditure by both is now 
large. The part of the Federal Government is to make grants-in-aid from 
central funds and to guide and supervise the expenditure of such grants ; 
and their own headquarters organisation has been carefully created for 
this purpose. The extension work carried out with funds provided by 
the Smith-Lever Act is supervised by the States Relations Department, 
which, in the year ending 30th June 1927, distributed 5,880,000 dollars 
(Rs. 161 lakhs*). The research work aided by funds provided by the 
Hatch, Adams, and Purnell Acts 'is under the supervision of the Office 
of Experiment Stations which, in the same year, made grants-in-aid to 
the several States of 2,880,000 dollars (Rs. 79 lakhs*). The larger part of 
the cost of experimental and research work aided by the Federal Depart- 
ment through the Office of Experiment Stations is a charge upon the 
funds of the States ; the total expenditure on these subjects 
during the year 1926-27 was about 12,500,000 dollars (Rs. 343 lakhs*). 
Apart from what in India would be called the provincial expenditure 
on research, the Federal Government maintain a number of special 
institutions or agencies for investigational purposes, at a cost, in the year 
ending 30th June 1927, of 10,600,000 dollars (Rs. 291 lakhs*). 

The resources, though not the needs, of India are very different from 
those of the United States, and it is not because of the expenditure, but 
because of the methods of providing and using funds that the experience 
of the latter country is of value. When experimental work was initiated 
in the United States, it was realised that it was necessary to provide both 
for some degree of permanency and for popular control ; the Hatch Act, 
therefore, provides money in the following terms, " the sum of fifteen 
thousand dollars per annum is hereby appropriated to each State to be 
specially provided for by Congress in the appropriations from year to year. " 
After forty years' experience of the value of experimental work, Congress, 
in the Purnell Act, authorised not only an appropriation of a fixed 
amount, but an increasing appropriation in these terms ; " in addition 
to the amounts now received by such experimental stations, the sum 
of $20,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1926, $30,000 for the 
fiscal year ending June 30th, 1927, $40,000 for the fiscal year ending June 
30th, 1928, $50,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1929, $60,000 
for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1930, and $60,000 for each fiscal 
year thereafter, to be paid to each State and Territory ; and the Secretary 
of Agriculture shall include the additional sums above authorised to be 

*Ks. 100 = $36-50. 


appropriated in the annual estimates of the Department of Agriculture, 
or in a separate estimate, as he may deem best." 

In the case of the Smith-Lever Act, which aimed at promoting extension 
and demonstration work, the form of providing money was different. 
It was considered that a fund should be created, and the Act includes 
the words " there is permanently appropriated out of the money in the 

Treasury not otherwise appropriated the sum of ." In this instance, 

State legislation was necessary in order to give effect to the schemes 
which the Federal Government were prepared to aid. Negotiations 
between representatives of the central and local governments 
were called for, and a non-lapsing fund of considerable amount 
was required for success. The permanent appropriation of 1914 provided 
$4,580,000 for expenditure in the year 1925-26, but owing to the growth 
of the work, a supplementary pum of $1,300,000 for that year was voted 
by Congress. 

The administration of these large grants-in-aid necessarily calls for 
close supervision, but, by means of a carefully devised form of accounts, 
routine correspondence on financial questions is reduced, and the general 
relations between Federal and State institutions may be indicated by 
quoting two sentences from the annual report (for the year ending June 
30, 1927) of the Chief of the Office of Experiment Stations. " While 
many questions in regard to the use of these Federal funds have arisen, 
in the main the supervision exercised has been in the nature of advice or 
suggestion, with the speedy correction of any doubtful procedure to- 
which attention was called. There is, perhaps, no similar example of the 
administration of so large a public sum for research in any line, and the 
spirit in which it is met is a sign of the community of interest and the 
desire to secure for the funds (Hatch, Adams and Purnell) the highest 
practicable degree of productivity." 

38. In the matter of agricultural legislation, administration and 

^ research, each of the States which compose the 


AciRicin/ruKAL UK- Commonwealth of Australia is practically nide- 
SEARCH IN Aus- pendent. Each State has its o\vn Department of 
TBALIA - Agriculture which is controlled by a Minister. 

Under the departments of agriculture in New South Wales, Victoria 
and South Australia, there are a number of research and demonstration 
farms and also of agricultural training colleges. With a view to 
co-ordinating agricultural and other research in Australia, the Federal 
Government, in 1920, passed an Act* establishing a " Commonwealth 
Institute of Science and Industry. " We were informed that, so far as 
agriculture was concerned, one of the reasons for passing this Act was 
that it had been found that funda mental research had been forced 
into the background owing to the large amount of attention necessarily 
given to demonst rational, extension and administrative work by the 
officers of the State departments. Although the staff of the depart- 
ments consisted in most cases of thoroughly competent men, it had 
proved impossible for them to include much necessary fundamental 
work in the programme of departmental activities. It was further 

*The text of the Act will be found in E\ idence Vol. X, page 639 el seq. 


evident that overlapping had caused a considerable waste of effort 
and that the energies of investigators, considered nationally, had not 
always been used to the best advantage. 

At the outset, grave difficulties were encountered in setting up the 
Commonwealth Council. One of the greatest was the suspicion enter- 
tained in some States that the Council was seeking to usurp State 
functions and that the efforts of the States to build up their own scientific 
research institutions would be discouraged. It was, therefore, decided to 
reorganise the Institute and two Acts, the Science and Industry Research 
Act and the Science and Industry Endowment Act,* were passed in 192(5 
to achieve this end. Wlien reorganising the Institute of Science and 
Industry into a Commonwealth Council for Scientific and Industrial 
Research, the Commonwealth Government laid it down as axiomatic that, 
before the initiation of any new Commonwealth establishment for research 
purposes, no effort should be spared to utilise to the fullest extent 
existing State organisations and establishments and, since the Council 
was constituted, its activities have proceeded on these lines. 

The Council thus created consists of three members nominated by the 
Commonwealth Government, the chairman of each of the State com- 
mittees constituted under the Act and such other members as the Council, 
with the consent of the Federal Minister, co-opts by reason of their 
scientific knowledge. The State committees consist of a chairman who 
is nominated by the Commonwealth Government after consultation with 
the State authorities, three members appointed by the State governments 
from the staff of their scientific departments, three members representa- 
tive of pure science, of whom at least two must be from the local 
university and all of whom are selected by the Commonwealth Council, 
and three other members co-opted by the chairman to represent primary 
and secondary industries witlun the State. Sub-committees on special 
subjects are appointed from time to time. The three nominees ot the 
Commonwealth Government on the Council constitute an executive 
committee which may exercise all the powers and functions of the Council 
between its meetings. 

As regards the provision of funds for the work of the Council, we were 
informed by Mr. G. A. Julius, the Chairman, whose visit to England 
fortunately synchronised with ours, that last year 250,000 was voted 
by the Commonwealth Parliament to form the nucleus of a non -lapsing 
fund, the only condition imposed being that estimates, not in detail, 
should be submitted through the Minister. It was anticipated that a 
further substantial grant would shortly be made. In addition, a trust 
fund of 100,000 was created under the provisions of the second of the 
two Acts mentioned above. This is vested in the three members of the 
Executive Committee and the interest on it is to be devoted entirely 
to the training of research workers and to making grants-in-aid to 
persons engaged in scientific research. 

One of the first actions of the Commonwealth Council was to convene 
an agricultural conference of the permanent heads and other officers of 

* The text of the Act will be found in Evidence Vol. X, page 639 et 8<q. 

the State departments of agriculture in March, 1927. The professors 
of agriculture at the Australian universities were also present. Some 
of the resolutions passed by this conference are so relevant to our present 
problem that no apology for quoting them appears called for. It was 
resolved that Commonwealth participation in agricultural research was 
desirable ; that problems which are national in scope and fundamental 
in character, and which require concentration of effort and highly 
specialised research for their solution, are specially suited for investigation 
by the Commonwealth ; that the Commonwealth Council can render 
great service to the agricultural institutions throughout the Common- 
wealth by acting as a clearing house for information on research projects 
in State institutions and universities ; that the Council should adopt a 
scheme which will enable the universities to attract students to the 
faculties of agriculture and of veterinary science by notifying that 
appointments will be available for suitably trained men ; that the ways 
in which the Council can best serve Australia in its agricultural develop- 
ment are by co-operation and collaboration with State departments of 
agriculture, with the universities and with the institutions concerned 
with agricultural and livestock interests, it being understood that such 
co-operation would be compatible with the independence of individual 
research organisations undertaking research activities ; and finally that, 
to effect the desired co-operation and collaboration, the Council should 
bring into existence a Standing Committee on Agriculture, comprising 
the permanent heads of the State departments of agriculture and 
representatives of the Council, such Standing Committee to act as the 
advisory and consultative body on matters relative to agricultural and 
livestock research undertaken by the Commonwealth. 

The position in Australia is specially illuminating. It will be seen that, 
although the States which compose the Commonwealth were, at the 
outset, as jealous of interference from the central Government as any 
provincial Government in India could be, their views in this respect 
have undergone a complete change and they are now convinced that 
the Federal Government can give them the most valuable assistance 
in regard to agricultural and industrial research. 

39. The evidence we received convinced us of the lack of sufficiently 
THE PROBLEM IN close touch not only between Pusa and the provin- 
INDIA. cial departments but also between the provincial 

departments themselves. One is to a very large extent the outcome of 
the other. Had the provinces been in closer touch with Pusa, they would 
have been in closer touch with each other. The problem before us is to 
devise some method of infusing a different spirit into the whole organi- 
sation of agricultural research in India and of bringing about the realisa- 
tion on the part of research workers in this country that they are working 
to an end which cannot be reached unless they regard themselves as 
partners in the same enterprise. Of all the problems with which we 
have been confronted, there is none which we regard as more important 
than this and to none have we devoted, more anxious thought. 

We wish to make our position in this matter perfectly clear. It is 
not our business, nor haVe we any desire, to suggest any changes in the 


Constitution which would reverse the present position and would 
restore to the Government of India powers of superintendence, direction 
and control over the administration of what are now transferred 
subjects. We conceive it our duty to accept that position with all its 
implications and to frame our recommendations in the light of it. But 
we are convinced that, even as matters now stand, there is a wide field 
open for the co-operation of the Government of India and of the 
provincial governments in regard to agricultural research and that it is 
the duty of the Government of India, in the discharge of their ultimate 
responsibilities for the welfare of the vast agricultural population of 
this country, to advance research in every way possible without in any 
way encroaching upon the functions of provincial governments in that 
sphere. It is in this spirit that we put forward the proposals which are 
explained below. 

40. The first question which arises is whether there is any 
THE POSITION OF necessity for the continuance of a central research 
P USA. institute and whether agricultural research might 

not be left entirely to the provincial departments. Our review of the 
position in India and in other countries will, we think, have left no 
doubt as to our views on this point- and it is, therefore, unnecessary to 
enlarge upon it at any length. All that need be said is that agricultural? 
development is so vital to the prosperity of India that it is inconceiv- 
able that the Government of India should divest themselves of all 
responsibility for it. The promotion of research and the provision of 
information are now the only ways in which they can render substantial 
assistance to agricultural progress and, in those directions, they should, 
in our view, give all the help possible, especially as the evidence 
we have received has shown how wide a field for research still! 
remains and how desirable it is that provincial activities should be- 
co-ordinated and supplemented. Piisa has been in existence so long, is so 
well endowed with buildings and equipment and has accumulated such 
a fund of information and experience, that it is impossible to 
contemplate a cessation of its activities. It should be mentioned that, 
in putting forward this view, we have the practically unanimous support 
of a very large body of non-official opinion. 

It may be held that the continued existence and expansion of Pusa. 
are, in themselves, a sufficient discharge of the responsibilities of the 
Government of India in regard to agricultural research. We 
are unable to concur in this view. It would, in our opinion, have- 
a solid basis in fact if there were any evidence of an increasing ten- 
dency on the part of the provincial agricultural departments to look 
to Pusa for help and guidance. The evidence we received showed that 
the reverse is unfortunately the case and that the thread of connection 
between Pusa and the provinces is becoming more and more attenuated. 
For this there are many reasons. The first and not the least important 
is one that has always existed. It is the comparative inaccessibility 
of the Pusa Institute. The choice of Pusa as a site for an all-India 
research institute was, as we have seen, mainly determined by the facfr 


that a large government estate happened to be available for the pur- 
pose. An ideal site for a central research institute for all India was 
doubtless impoaw&i of attainment but we cannot but regard it as a 
matter for regrw^ that the site actually selected was one six 
miles from a railway station, in an out-of-the-way district to which 
access from most parts, of India can only be obtained by a river 
crossing, and from all parts by a somewhat tedious railway journey. 
In this connection, we should mention that we have given careful 
consideration to the question whether this handicap could not be 
removed by transferring the work now carried on at fusa to some 
more eligible site, We are, however, of opinion that so much has been 
spent on buildings and equipment and on the development of the estate 
that it would be impossible to justify such a proposal. Moreover, the 
climate is good and the soil fertile and well suited to growing most of the 
important Indian crops. A district chosen by men with a good eye for 
country such as the early Dutch and English planters is not lightly to be 
abandoned. The second reason is the relative decline in the prestige of 
the Pusa staff. This, to a large extent, was inevitable. At the outset, the 
staff of the Pusa Institute included among its members the senior officers 
of the then newly constituted Indian Agricultural Service whose sub- 
sequent performance showed them to the men of high scientific capacity. 
The provincial departments, on the other hand, were staffed by junior 
men who had to prove their worth and were naturally very willing to be 
guided by the more senior officers at Pusa. The disparity in this respect has 
gradually disappeared and the provincial departments rely more and more 
on their own experts. Within limits, this spirit of provincial independence 
in regard to agricultural research is natural and praiseworthy. But its 
effect has undoubtedly been to bring about a lack of touch between 
Pusa and the provinces and between province and province 
and a certain narrowing of scientific outlook that have now 
reached a point at which they are beginning to tell seriously on 
efficiency. Whilst it is undoubtedly a phase of the general spirit 
of self-sufficiency which has grown up in the provinces since the 
Keforms, it must also be attributed in part to the fact that the 
spheres of central and provincial research have never been clearly 
defined and the provincial departments have remained in a state of un- 
certainty as to the extent to which they are entitled to invoke the assist- 
ance of Pusa. It is unfortunate, from the point of view from which we 
are considering this problem, that Pusa was not, from the outset, an 
educational as well as a research institute. A constant stream of men 
ifeturning from Puaa to the provinces would have furnished an excellent 
means of maintaining contact between the Imperial and provincial 
departments and would have placed the latter in a better position to 
discover in what ways the work done at Pusa could be made of value 
to them. 

41. There would appear to be three possible methods by which 

closer contact might be established between scientific 

CONSTITUTION OF investigators working in institutions under the 

X3KOP OOMMITTBBS. central Government and investigators employed 


under provincial governments. The first IB by dividing 4 res^ar^k into 
compartments, in other words by the formation of crop committees o'fl 
the lines of the Indian Central Cotton Committee. T^e second is by the 
transfer of the control of Pusa from the I In i iinni iilJfliiiliii In 11 (Mini i 
independent body on which the provinces would be jqpie8ent|3| tod ilie 
thirdiJJby constituting a new organisation to which both* Piisa and ike 
provincial research institutes would stand in exactly the sarne^ relation* 
We dismiss, at the outset, the possibility of subordinating pjrovi&eial 
research institutes in any way to Pusa. The time for th^Vif it ever 
existed, has long passed. We shall proceed to discuss these three 
possibilities in some detail. 

One of the most satisfactory features of our enquiry was the universal 
approbation elicited by the work of the Indian Central Cotton Committee, 
the organisation and functions of which we have described in paragraph 
30, Chapter II. The marked success which has been achieved by that 
committee led to many suggestions that other crops should be dealt 
with in similar fashion and the possibilities of dividing up agricultural 
research by crops have, therefore, to be considered. These possibilities, 
however, appear to us to be very limited. Agricultural research cannot, 
in our view, be suitably divided into longitudinal sections in this way and 
any attempt to do so would involve more loss than gain. It must be 
remembered that the Indian Central Cotton Committee does not confine 
itself to research on cotton but is concerned with all questions arising 
out of cotton growing from the field to the factory. Nor does the research 
work which is carried out under its auspices embrace the whole field of 
research on cotton. It is supplementary to, rather than independent of, 
the work of the provincial departments on this crop. 

Without in any way desiring to minimise the success which has attended 
the work of the Indian Central Cotton Committee, it must be remembered 
that cotton offered a specially promising field for the experiment involved 
in constituting such a committee. In the first place, the cotton problem 
is very definitely an all-India problem ; in the second, the cotton 
industry provides, to a greater extent than any other industry in 
India, except the tea industry, which has its own organisation, and possi- 
bly the jute industry, the personnel required for a successful central com- 
mittee ; and, in the third, the question of financing the operations of a 
central committee for cotton presented fewer difficulties than would be 
encountered in financing those of any similar committees, again with 
the possible exceptions of tea and jute. It would be extremely difficult 
to provide a satisfactory personnel for central committees on such crops 
as wheat, the millets, oil-seeds or rice, and, even if such committees could 
be constituted, the field of research which would remain untouched 
would still be a very large one. Apart from these considerations, 
there appear to us insuperable difficulties in fitting into a research 
organisation based only on crops the work of Pusa and of the pro- 
vincial research institutions, as this is based on an entirely different and 
more logical division of research into branches of agricultural science. 
We revert to the question of constituting crop committees in 


paragraph 65 below but sufficient has been said here to show 
that no solution of our immediate problem is to be found in this 


42* The secon<fpossibility which falls for discussion is that of trans- 
ferring the control of Pusa from the Government of 

CONSTITUTION OF A India to a quasi-independent governing body which 
FOB?USA BODY WOU W comprise representatives of the Government 
of India and of the provincial agricultural depart- 
ments as well as of non-official interests. If such a body were constituted, 
the presence on it of provincial representatives would enable them to 
bring influence to bear to direct the research work at Pusa into channels 
which would prove fruitful of results to the provinces. The presence of 
non-official representatives would bring home to the public at large the 
fact that agricultural research is not a matter for experts only, but one 
of vital concern to the community as a whole. There appear to us, 
however, to be grave difficulties in advocating this course. Such an 
arrangement as that proposed involves no element of reciprocity. The 
provincial representatives on the governing body might have a deciding 
voice in determining the direction of research work at Pusa but the 
representatives of the Government of India would be without any corres- 
ponding influence on the work of the provincial research institutes. The 
link between Pusa and the provinces would be only the personal one 
provided by the presence on the governing body of a representative of 
the provincial department and there would be no guarantee in practice 
that this would be sufficient to provide the requisite degree of co-ordination 
between the research work at Pusa and that in the provinces. Again, 
we do not contemplate any contributions from the provinces to the cost 
of maintaining and expanding Pusa. We consider that such expenditure 
should continue to be regarded as the contribution of the Government 
of India to the development of the most important industry in India. 
In these circumstances, it may be doubted whether the central Govern- 
ment would be willing to surrender the control of the central research 
institute to a body on which representatives of that Government would 
be in a small minority. 

43. We, therefore, prefer the third of the possible methods of 
CONSTITUTION AND proceeding which we have outlined above, that of 
FUNCTIONS OF UN A * constituting a new organisation to which Pusa and 
OF AGRICULTURAL tn e provincial research institutions would stand in 
RESEARCH. exactly the same relation. Our proposal is that an 

DJ^o^ND >1 ocK>BDii Im P erial Council of Agricultural Research should be 
NATION OF AGRICUL. constituted. Before discussing the manner in 
TURAL RESEARCH. which this Council should be composed, we would 
state our conception of the functions it should discharge. Its most 
important duty would be to promote, guide and co-ordinate 
agricultural research throughout India, and to link it with agricul- 
tural research in other parts of the British Empire and in foreign 
countries. It would not exercise any administrative control over 
the Imperial or provincial research institutions. Such control would 


remain, as at present, with the Imperial or provincial depart* 
ments of agriculture. But it would be a body to which those 
departments could look for guidance in all matters connected with 
research and to which such research programmes as they might choose 
would be submitted for criticism and approval. Research programmes 
were formerly submitted to the Board of Agriculture for criticism 
but the practice has been discontinued as the Board did not feel 
itself in a position to perform this function satisfactorily. It 
would further be a body to which the Imperial and provincial govern- 
ments could, if necessary, turn for advice as to whether their research 
work is proceeding on sound lines and is of such a standard that it com- 
mands respect and justifies the expenditure incurred on it. Our object, 
in proposing that such a body should be constituted, is, in short, to provide 
provincial governments with an organisation in which they can feel that 
they have a real and lively interest, which, unfortunately, is not the case 
with Pusa as at present constituted. That interest will undoubtedly be 
greatly accentuated if the Council is entrusted with the administration 
of funds with which it can supplement provincial activities in the matter 
of agricultural research. We cannot emphasise too strongly our view 
that agricultural research knows no provincial boundaries and that there 
are few, if any, research problems which do not affect agricultural devel- 
opment throughout India. Research on rice in Madras, for example, 
may be of profound importance to Bengal, and work done on the millets 
in any part of India cannot but be of value wherever they are grown. 
If agricultural research in this country is to develop satisfactorily, it is 
essential that continuity of policy should be secured. Only if the Council 
is placed in a secure financial position, beyond the possibility of being 
affected by financial vicissitudes, will it be able to embark upon a 
programme of ordered advance. We, therefore, propose that an 
agricultural research fund should be constituted by a grant of f Rs. 50 
lakhs from central revenues to which additions should be made from time 
to time as financial conditions permit. This is, in our view, the minimum 
grant which can usefully be made, and we have only been able to propose 
so low a figure on the assumption that provision for the cost of existing 
institutions and for the normal expansion, both of these institutions 
and of any others which it may be decided to establish, will be 
met from central or provincial revenues as the case may be. 
The Council of Agricultural Research and the Agricultural Research 
Fund should be constituted by an Act of the Imperial Legislature. 
The position of the Council of Agricultural Research in relation to 
the administration of the research fund would be analogous to that of 
the Indian Central Cotton Committee in relation to the funds raised under 
the provisions of the Indian Cotton Cess Act of 1923. Subject to such 
conditions as might be prescribed, the capital and income of the fund 
and any other f undo received by the Council would be utilised in meeting 
its expenses and the cost of such measures as it might decide to undertake 
for promoting agricultural and technological research in the interests of 
agriculture in India. The powers of the Council would be regulated by 
MO y 2864 


rules issued by the Governor General in Council in the Department of 
Education, Health and Lands similar to those issued under section 15 of 
the Indian Cotton Cess Act. These rules would, inter alia, regulate 
the powers of the Council to enter into contracts, to appoint officers 
and servants, and to grant them leave, pay and allowances. They 
would further regulate the powers of the Council to incur expendi- 
ture and would provide for the submission of its budget to the Governor 
General in Council for sanction and for the audit and publication of its 
accounts. They should also provide that its accounts and also a 
report containing a summary of the work done and of the research and 
investigations made during the preceding year, should annually be placed 
before the Imperial Legislatures. We would here express the earnest 
hope that the agricultural research fund thus constituted will, in course 
of time, be considerably augmented by private benefactions. It cannot 
be regarded as a matter for satisfaction that the only names hitherto 
associated in this way with the advancement of agricultural research 
in India should be those of Mr. Henry Phipps of America and of the late 
Sir Sassoon David of Bombay. 

44. We wish to make it clear that in agricultural research we include 
(it) PROMOTION veterinary research. In our chapters on Animal 

GUIDANCE AND CON- Husbandry and .Diseases of Livestock and their 
TROL OF VETERINARY Control, we shall show that, from the 
BBSBARCH. cultivator's point of view, agricultural and 

veterinary research are merely two branches of one subject. We shall 
also show the immense importance to Indian agriculture of research 
on the diseases of livestock and their control. We are aware that the 
position in regard to veterinary research is not quite the same as that 
in regard to agricultural research. The veterinary colleges in India 
are teaching rather than research institutions and research at present 
forms an entirely subordinate part of their activities. The need for 
a link between them and the Imperial Institute of Veterinary Research 
at Muktesar is not, therefore, so clear as is that for a link between Pusa 
and the agricultural colleges. We look forward, however, to the veteri- 
nary colleges taking a larger part in research work than they ha ve hitherto 
done and consider it desirable to make provision for closer touch between 
them and the Muktesar Institute. This object can, in our view, best 
be secured through the Council of Agricultural Research, both because 
of the very intimate connection between agricultural and veterinary 
research and because the constitution of a separate body to deal 
with veterinary research could hardly be justified in existing 

45. The Council would also have most important functions to fulfil in 
(Hi) TRAINING OF regard to the training of agricultural research workers. 

RESEARCH WORKERS. p ar t o f its funds should, we consider, be utilised in 
the establishment of research scholarships tenable by students who have 
given evidence that they are capable of taking full advantage of an 
opportunity for intensive training 114 scientific research in agriculture. 


The scholarships would ordinarily be held by men who have passed 
with distinction through an agricultural college but should not be con- 
fined to this class and should be open to graduates from the universities 
in branches of science other than those directly connected with agricul- 
ture. In this connection, it is of great interest to note that, whilst the 
scientific staff at Bothamsted is chosen from the best science schools 
in the United Kingdom, no agricultural knowledge is expected. Com- 
plete familiarity with the use of his tools is regarded as far more 
important to the agricultural investigator than some diffuse knowledge 
of the processes used by the farmer in tilling the soil. As will be seen 
from paragraph 60 below and from our chapter on Education, we con- 
template that the post-graduate training required as a qualification for 
aclmission to the superior provincial agricultural services should 
ordinarily be given at Pusa and it will be for the Council of Agricultural 
Research to advise as to how best it can be given at that institution 
and the extent to which it will be necessary to supplement it by 
further training abroad. The Council will exercise similar functions in 
regard to the training of veterinary research workers. 

46. A further function which should, in our view, be discharged by 
(iv) CLEARING HOUSE the Council of Agricultural Research is that of 

OF INFORMATION. acting as a clearing house for information not 
only in regard to research but also in regard to agricultural and 
veterinary matters generally. The Government of India can render 
substantial assistance in this respect to provincial governments and 
there is nothing in the existing constitution which prevents them from 
doing so, as the existence of the Sugar Bureau bears witness. We consider 
that similar bureaus should be established for other crops as well as for 
animal husbandry and dairying and veterinary matters and that these, 
together with the Sugar Bureau, should be placed directly under the 
Council of Agricultural Research. We prefer to make no detailed 
suggestions under this head as we consider that the order in which 
these bureaus should be established and the scope of their 
functions can best be determined by the Council of Agricultural 

47. In connection with its functions as a clearing house of information, 
(v) PUBLICATION the Council of Agricultural Research would take 

BUBBAU. OV er the publication work at present carried out 

by the Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India either in 
that capacity or as Director of the Pusa Institute. It would thus be 
responsible for the Agricultural Journal of India and for the Annual 
Review of Agricultural Operations in India. At present,, all scientific 
papers intended for publication either in the series of scientific memoirs 
or in that of bulletins issued by the Pusa Institute are submitted to 
the Pusa Council which consists of the heads of sections with the 
Director (who, as has been mentioned, is now also Agricultural Adviser 
to the Government of India) as president. After approval by the 
Council, the papers are forwarded to the Agricultural Adviser for 
his sanction to publish. In future, all scientific work of this character 
MO Y 286 40 

, 52 

would only be published after it had received the imprimatur of the 
Council of Besearch.* 

48. Another duty which should, we think, be discharged by the 
(vi) MEETINGS OP Council of Agricultural Research is that of 
EXPERTS. arranging for meetings of experts in particular 

branches of agricultural and veterinary science such as entomology, 
mycology and botany. Such meetings afford the workers in the same 
field a means of interchanging views on problems ol common interest 
and of profiting from each other's experience which is of the greatest 
value and which neither correspondence nor interchange of literature 
can satisfactorily provide. They have occasionally been held in the 
past and the conferences of entomologists were, we understand, specially 
successful. Financial considerations and the lack of contact between v 
Pusa and the provincial agricultural departments have brought 
about their cessation. We consider that they should be revived and 
should meet under the auspices of the Council of Agricultural 
Research, the Chairman of which, or his nominee, would preside 
over them. 

49. We do not contemplate that the Council of Agricultural 
T>~c,, m ^ m Research should have research stations directly 

X OSITION OF THB . i i i i s rtr 

COUNCIL IN REGARD under its control or should have its own staff of 
TO RESEARCH. experts. Such a proposal would be incompatible 

with the main principle underlying our scheme which is that the Council 
should stand in exactly the same relation to Imperial and provincial 
research stations. It will be for the Council to decide whether any 
' particular piece of research work is of all- India or merely of local import- 
ance and, if the former, whether it can best be carried out at an Imperial 
or provincial research institution or entirely outside such institutions, 
in a university, by private individuals, or even abroad. It would then 
make the necessary grant to enable the work to proceed. Any addi- 
tional staff required for it would be recruited in the ordinary way by the 
Imperial or provincial departments concerned, but the qualifications 
required for such staff would be determined by the Council and the 
grant would only be given on condition that staff with the prescribed 
qualifications was obtained. 

* Professor Gangulee considers that it' would be of very great assistance to the Govern- 
ment of India and to provincial governments if they were able to obtain, from time to 
time, an outside and independent opinion of the state of research in the country. At 
present, they have no means of discovering whether the research work done is of real value 
and whether the results obtained are commensurate with the expenditure involved. He 
considers that the establishment of the Council of Agricultural Research will not alto- 
gether remove this uncertainty and he would, therefore, suggest that there should be a 
quinquennial review of the progress of agricultural research in India which would be 
carried out in a manner to be determined by the Council of Agricultural Research. 
Should such a review be entrusted to a small committee of eminent scientists drawn from 
Great Britain and other countries, both central and provincial research institutions might 
receive valuable suggestions from that body. The publication of a quinquennia] review 
of research will, he hopes, provide an effective means of stimulating agricultural research 
in India in all directions and of milling it a far more vital factor in agricultural 
development than it is at present. 


50. A word should be said as to the financial position of the Council 

EXPENDITURE FROM * n relation to the present Constitution. We have 

CENTRAL REVENUES ON pointed out that, under the existing Constitution, 

AGRICULTURAL BE " it is not permissible to incur expenditure from 

SEAROR. l . r . , , * , i ,\ . 

central revenues on provincial subjects and that 
the Devolution Kules, as they now stand, only permit expenditure 
on agricultural research and the training of research workers in central 
institutes. It will be seen that our scheme contemplates expenditure 
on research in provincial institutions. We have explained our reason 
for this, which is that there are few, if any, important problems of 
agricultural research which can be regarded as of purely provincial 
interest. The position in this respect appears to us to be analogous to 
that of the development of industries, which is not considered merely 
a provincial matter but has been declared a central subject " in cases 
where development by central authority is declared, by order of 
the Governor General in Council, made after consultation with the 
local government or local governments concerned, expedient in the 
public interest. " All that is required, therefore, to bring our 
proposals fvithin the four corners of the present constitution is an 
alteration in the Devolution Rules which would declare the develop- 
ment of agricultural research by a central authority expedient in the 
public interest. 

51. The success of the Council of Agricultural Research will, to an 
PERSONNEL OF THE extent which can hardly be exaggerated, be depen- 
COUNCIL. dent on the personality of its Chairman. He should 

(*) THE CHAIRMAN. b e an experienced administrator with a knowledge, 
if possible, of Indian conditions. The justification for this recommenda- 
tion is to be found in the nature of the duties we have assigned to the 
Council of Research in paragraphs 43 to 48 above. He must possess 
the ability to make the new organisation a vital factor in Indian agri- 
cultural development, to overcome any jealousy or suspicion which 
may be entertained to wards it by the Imperial or provincial department^ 
of agriculture and to inspire enthusiasm for research not only amongst 
research workers themselves but amongst others whose aid can in any 
way be utilised to further its advancement. The success which has 
undoubtedly been already achieved by the Council for Scientific and 
Industrial Research in Australia furnishes an inspiring example of what 
can be done in this direction. In conditions in India, we consider it 
essential that the chairmanship of the Council should be a whole-time 
appointment. We prefer to make no recommendation as to the salary 
which should be attached to it beyond stating that it must be such as 
to attract an outstanding man. 

52. We consider that in addition to the Chairman there should be 

members of the Council. One of 

(**) THE WHOLE- 

TIME MEMBERS OF these should be an eminent scientist who has 
THE COUNCIL AND specialised in some branch of crop production. It 

THE SECRETARIAT. ^ ^ foj^k fitf, fo gj^fl p()ggess ft knowledge 

of Indian conditions. The necessity for these qualifications will be 


evident from many passages in our Eeport and especially from 
our chapters on Agricultural Improvement, Communications and 
Marketing, and Education. The second should specially represent the 
interests of animal husbandry including animal nutrition and veterinary 
matters. Our justification for this recommendation will be evident from 
our chapters on Animal Husbandry and Diseases of Livestock and their 
Control, and need not, therefore, be discussed in detail here. If the Council 
is satisfactorily to discharge its functions in regard to the training of 
research workers, as a clearing house of information on agricultural 
and veterinary matters generally and as a publication bureau, it will 
require a strong secretariat. As in the case of the Chairman, we prefer 
to make no recommendation as to the salary of the two whole-time 
members of the Council ; it must be such as will attract men of out- 
standing ability. 

53. It is, in our opinion, very desirable that the Council should not 

be an unwieldy body as otherwise there is a danger 
OB- THJB CouN^j E L MBEBS ^at * ts activities might be in inverse proportion 

to its numbers. At the same time, it is obviously 
essential that all the major provinces should be represented upon it. 
We do not wish to lay down any rigid rules for the composition of 
the Council as we realise that an entirely satisfactory constitution 
can only be evolved in the light of experience. We would suggest 
that, at the outset, the Council might consist of thirty-nine members, 
inclusive of the Chairman and the two whole-time members. Eight of 
these would be nominated by the Government of India, of whom one 
would be the Director of the Pusa Institute who, under the proposals 
we put forward in paragraph 58 below, would be a whole-time officer, 
one would be the Director of the Muktesar Institute, one would represent 
minor administrations under the Government of India, one would be 
a non-official elected member of the Council of State and two would be 
non-official elected members of the Legislative Assembly. The 
remaining two members would be representatives of the European 
and Indian business communities respectively. Agricultural research 
is so closely bound up with the trade and commerce of the country that 
we consider it desirable that these two important communities should be 
represented on the Council. There should also be three representa- 
tives of Indian universities nominated by the Inter-University 
Board. Touch between the Council of Research and the Indian Central 
Cotton Committee will be provided by the fact that the Chairman 
of the Council of Research will also be Chairman of the Indian Central 
Cotton Committee, but we recommend that this Committee should 
also be permitted to elect a representative to the Council of Agricultural 
Research. In view of the value to Indian agriculture generally of the 
scientific work of the Indian Tea Association and the United Planters 
Association of Southern India, we would suggest that these two bodies 
should also jointly nominate a member of the Council. The provincial 
agricultural representatives would consist of the nine directors of agri- 
culture of the major provinces. We have carefully considered whether 
it is necessary that both the directors of agriculture and the principals 


of the agricultural colleges should be members of the Council but are ot 
opinion that this would unduly enlarge the membership of the Council 
and that, in view of the responsibility of the directors for the general 
policy of their departments, they are the most suitable provincial re- 
presentatives. For a similar reason, we recommend that the provincial 
directors of veterinary services should represent their departments on 
the Council. Should a Director of Agriculture ot of Veterinary Services 
be unable to be present at a meeting of the Council, we consider that his 
place should be taken for that occasion by a member of the scientific 
staff of his department, nominated by the provincial Government. 
The remaining five members would be non-official members nominated 
by the Government of India on the recommendation of the Council, by 
reason of their scientific knowledge or other special qualifications, for the 
approval of the Government of India. 

A suitable period for the duration of appointment as a member of the 
Council of Agricultural Research will have to be fixed. We suggest 
that for the Chairman and the two whole-,, me members a peripd 
of five years, and for the members a period of three years, would be 
appropriate as a general rule. Provision should be made for 
extending these periods and we are inclined to think that, with a view 
to maintaining continuity of experience, arrangements should also be 
made for securing that only a' certain proportion of the vacancies should 
occur at any one time. 

54. In ordinary circumstances, we do not consider that it will be 
necessary for the Council to meet more than 

twice vearlv - In view of the ^ eat distances 
in India, more frequent meetings would 
involve an undesirable degree of interference with the ordinary 
duties of the great majority of its members. It would be 
necessary to make provision for the conduct of business between meetings 
and we are of opinion that this can best be done by a provision in the 
legislation constituting the Council permitting the Council, with the 
previous sanction of the Governor General in Council, to make rules, 
inter alia, for the appointment of a Standing Finance Committee* from 
amongst its members and the delegation to it of any powers exercisable 
by the Council. Subject to such restrictions as might at any time be 
imposed by the Council, this committee would exercise all the powers 
of the Council in regard to the control and disposal of its funds and also 
such other powers as might be delegated to it by the Council. The 
Chairman of the Council would be ex-qfficio chairman of this committee 
and the two whole -time members of the Council should be members 
of it. Beyond this, the only suggestion we would make is that, as a 
very important function of the committee will be to deal with applica- 
tions for grants for research institutions, no member of the Council 
directly connected with any research institution should be a member 

* Mr. Karaat considers that, in a scheme for a fund of this nature, it is desirable that, 
in the legislation constituting the Council of Agricultural Research, provision should 
be made ensuring an adequate representation on the Standing Finance Committee of 
the non-official element which may include one of the nominees of the Government 
of India on behalf of the Indian Legislature. 


The Council will undoubtedly find it advisable to do much of its work, 
other than that connected with financial matters, through sub-committees. 
These should have power to co-opt members from outside tfre Council 
to assist them in dealing with special questions. 

65. The question of a suitable headquarters for the Council presents 
some difficulty. The choice of Pusa would be 
THE HEADQUARTERS o P en to ^ e objection that it is difficult of access, 
OF THE COUNCIL. and the excellence of its library would not compen- 
sate for this drawback. It is further undesirable 
that the headquarters of the Council should be at a station in which 
there is a research institute whether Imperial or provincial. In these 
circumstances, we consider that the most suitable headquarters for the 
Council would be those of the Government of India, viz., Delhi and 

56. The scheme we have put forward above has, we think, the 

advantage that it could, if necessary, be adapted 

FLEXIBILITY OF to any changes in the Constitution in respect of 

ZSJpnq^SnR^S agriculture and allied subjects which may follow 

JrlvUlrOSfcD JfUK THE f ~' , " , _. 

COUNCIL. on the recommendations of the Statutory 

Commission. The possibility of establishing a 
Development Commission for India on the lines of that established 
for Great Britain under the provisions of the Development and Road 
Improvement Funds Acts of 1909 and 1910 has naturally occurred to us. 
That Commission consists of eight members, appointed by Royal Warrant, 
of whom two are in receipt of salaries. A total sum of 4,540,000 has, up 
to date, been provided for purposes of development. Grants for this 
fund are made by the Treasury on the advice of the Development 
Commission which, in effect, controls the administration of the Fund as 
no grants can be made without its sanction. The Commission occupies 
a position distinct from government departments in the sense that it is 
free to report without reference to a Minister, that its recommendations 
are not subject to confirmation by parliament and that its status and 
procedure are laid down by statute. The purposes to which the Develop- 
ment Fund can be devoted are as follows : '* Aiding and developing 
agriculture and rural industries by promoting scientific research, instruc- 
tion and experiments in the science, methods and practice of agriculture 
(including the provision of farm institutes), the organisation of co-opera- 
tion, instruction in marketing produce and the extension of the provision 
of small holdings and by the adoption of any other means which appear 
calculated to develop agriculture and rural industries." It will be seen 
that the scope of the British Development Commission is much wider than 
that we have proposed for the Council of Research. The establishment 
of a similar Commission for India under the purview of which would 
come large schemes for development generally and not only those for 
an extension of agricultural research, would, we have no doubt, have a 
far reaching effect on agricultural progress in this country. The idea is 
an attractive one but the limitations imposed by the existing 
Constitution are such as, in our view, rule any proposal of this kind out of 
consideration in present conditions. If conditions alter, the frame work 


of a Development Commission will be found in the Council of Agricul- 
tural Research we have proposed, which could be expanded without 
difficulty to include not only agriculture in all its aspects but also all 
activities which have any bearing on ruralprogress*. 

57. It is our hope that the Council of Agricultural Research will be 
PROVINCIAL COM- brought into close touch with the provincial 
MITTBBS. governments and departments of agriculture 

through its Chairman and whole-time members and that, 
in the altered conditions, their visits to the provinces will be 
welcomed. Even this and the provincial representation on the 
Council we have proposed above will not, in our view, provide sufficient 
contact between the Council and the provincial departments and we, 
therefore, suggest that a committee should be established in each major 
province which would work in close co-operation with the Council. 
Here again, we would suggest no rigid composition for such provincial 
committees and would prefer to leave their constitution to the discretion of 
provincial governments. We would, however , suggest that the Director of 
Agriculture and the Director of Veterinary Services should invariably be 
members, as should also the principals of the agricultural and veterinary 
colleges where these exist in a province, that there should be in addition 
at least one scientific expert from the staff of the agricultural and 
veterinary colleges or departments, one representative of pure science 
from the provincial university or universities and one or more non- 
official members. The selection and appointment of the chairman 
should rest with the provincial Government. The exact functions of the 
provincial committees can best be determined after the Council of 
Agricultural Research has been constituted but amongst its duties would 
be the preparation of programmes of research to be laid before the 
Council of Agricultural Research and a report on any application 
from any association or persons within the province for a grant from 
the Council. These functions, in the case of Pusa, would be discharged 

* Sir Thomas Middleton and Dr. Hyder are of opinion that the administrative duties 
arising out of the allocation of grants from the Research Fund should be separated from 
the other functions proposed for the Imperial Research Council. They recommend that 
two independent, but closely associated, bodies should be created : 

(1) A Council charged with the duty of promoting scientific enquiry and providing 
scientific guidance ; 

(2) A Board charged with the examination of applications for grants from the 
Research Fund and with the detailed arrangements necessary to ensure the effective 
use of money granted to promote research. 

The constitution of the Imperial Agricultural Research Council should follow generally 
the lines indicated in the Report ; but each major province should be entitled to send to 
the Council one officer engaged in scientific investigation, in addition to administrative 
officers ; and there should be five, in place of three university representatives, so that 
close touch may be established, and maintained, between scientific workers in 
universities and those in government research stations. 

The Imperial Agricultural Research Board should consist of the three whole-time 
official members referred to in the Report, and of four members elected by, and repre- 
senting, the Council. The choice of the Council in selecting representatives should be 
unfettered ; but it would be desirable that a majority of those elected should represent 
Indian unofficial opinion, and that there should be on the Board not less than two scientific 
men representing Indian universities. 

The Chairman of the Board should be the Chairman of the Council. Both bodies should 
be authorised to set up such committees as they may require. 


by the Pusa Council. We would suggest that, where a problem is 
of interest to more than one province, joint meetings of the provincial 
research committees of the provinces concerned might be arranged. 

58. The scheme we have outlined above leaves no place for the 
THE AGRICULTURAL Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India. 

ADVISER TO THE The duties of that appointment at present fall 
GOVERNMENT OF under two main heads, advisory and adminis- 
Il?DIA - trative. The Agricultural Adviser, as his designa- 

tion implies, advises the Government of India on all matters of 
agricultural policy and acts in a similar capacity to provincial govern- 
jments when he is called upon to do so. He is, as we have seen, in 
administrative control of Pusa, the Institute of Animal Husbandry 
and Nutrition at Bangalore, the cattle breeding and dairy farms at 
Karnal, Bangalore, and Wellington, the creamery at Anand, the Sugar- 
cane Breeding Station at Goimbatore, and the Imperial Institute of 
Veterinary Research at Muktesar and its branch at Izatnagar near Bareilly 
in the United Provinces. In the administrative charge of Pusa, he has the 
assistance of a senior member of the staff as Joint Director. He is also 
ex-officio Chairman of the Indian Central Cotton Committee . Under 
the scheme we have put forward, his advisory -duties would be trans- 
ferred to the Chairman and the two whole-time members of the Council 
of Research, whilst the small but by no means unimportant part of his 
work which is connected with agricultural publications would be taken 
over by the Council. His administrative duties except in regard to the 
Imperial Institute of Veterinary Research at Muktesar, for which in our 
chapter on Diseases of Livestock and their control we propose parallel 
arrangements, should, we consider, be transferred to a whole-time 
Director of Pusa. That the administrative work connected with Pusa is 
sufficient to justify a whole-time appointment has already been recognised 
by the creation of an appointment of Director which has, however, 
remained unfilled pending the provision of funds. We consider that the 
Director of the Pusa Institute should also be in charge of the sub-stations 
now under the control of the Agricultural Adviser as it is very desirable 
that the agricultural activities in which the Government of India are 
directly concerned should be linked in this way. The chairmanship of the 
Indian Central Cotton Committee and of any other crop committees 
which may hereafter be formed should, in our view, be taken over by the 
Chairman of the Council of Agricultural Research. With the establish- 
ment of that Council, therefore, the post of Agricultural Adviser to the 
Government of India would be abolished. 

59. We have already stated that, in our view, there can be no 
THE POSITION OF i ues tion, in present conditions, of the subordination 

PUSA AND THE QUAn- in any way of the provincial research institutions 

WOATIONS OF THE to Pusa. But whilst Pusa, relative to other research 
IREOTOR. institutes in India, will 'be? no more than primus 

inter pares, we contemplate that it should, as the research institute which 
is engaged on fundamental problems of all-India importance, be the 
institution which sets the standard for all agricultural research work 
throughout India. We wish to restore to it that prestige in the world 


of scientific research in agriculture which it once enjoyed but which the 
evidence we received shows that it has unfortunately lost. For the 
proper discharge of its functions in this respect, a staff of the highest 
calibre will be required, The personality of the Director of the institute 
is, therefore, a matter of very great importance. The qualifications 
required are administrative ability, scientific eminence and knowledge 
of Indian conditions but, here again, we consider it unlikely that these 
"qualifications will fee found in the same person and we are inclined to 
attach the greatest importance to /administrative ability) We deal 
with the question of the pay and otherconditions attaching to the appoint- 
ment in our chapter on The Agricultural Services, paragraph 564. In 
the same chapter, paragraphs 565 and 566, we make recommendations 
regarding the superior staff and class II appointments at Pusa. 

60. It is essential that India should become self-contained in the 
matter of higher agricultural training at an early 
PUSA AS AN EDUCA- fafo rpj^ j nteres t s o f agricultural development in 

TIONAL CENTRE. ,, . ,1 , t 11 

the country generally require that provision should 
be made for post-graduate study in all branches of agricultural science. 
There can be no question that, in existing conditions, the only institution 
in India ; in which facilities for such study can be provided is Pusa. In 
any event, financial considerations and the difficulty of recruiting the 
requisite staff makes it undesirable, in our view, that there should, at 
present, be more than one institute specialising in post-graduate training 
in agriculture in this country. 

In our chapter on Education, we have stated our view that the com- 
pletion with credit of an approved course of post-graduate study should 
be regarded as an essential qualification for admission to the new superior 
provincial agricultural services, whether for service in the districts or 
for research work in the agricultural colleges. We hope that candidates 
for these services will take this course at Pusa, but the organisa- 
tion of Pusa as a centre of post-graduate study should in any case be 
proceeded with. The advice of the Council of Agricultural Kesearch as 
to the lines on which the present facilities for post-graduate research at 
Pusa should be expanded should be taken as soon as possible after its 

61. In this connection, we have considered the desirability of affiliat- 
AFFILIATION OF * n 8 ^ >usa * a university. An alternative would be 
PUSA TO A UNI- to constitute Pusa a separate university but it is 
VEBSITY. most i m p ro bable that the number of students under 

training there will ever be sufficient to justify such a course. We do not 
think that affiliation to a university is called for. The question of the 
university to which affiliation should be made would present difficulties. 
Of the government agricultural colleges, Cawnpore andMandalay are not 
at present affiliated to universities but, in both cases, affiliation appears 
likely to come about in the near future. The affiliation of the Agri- 
cultural Institute at Allahabad to the Allahabad University is under 
consideration, and the only other private college in India where agricul- 
ture is taught, the Khalsa College, Amritsar, is affiliated to the Lahore 


University up to the Intermediate B.Sc. (Ag.) It follows, therefore, 
that the majority of the students at Pusa will be graduates of Indian 
universities. This being so, we consider that the most suitable link 
between Pusa and the universities would be an arrangement under 
which research work carried out at Pusa could be submitted as a thesis 
for the degree of M.Sc. or D.Sc. of the university of which the student 
was a graduate. 

62. The position of the Indian universities in regard to agricultural 

, research cannot be regarded as satisfactory. 

THE POSITION or _-, _- - _> , _ T e i * 

THE UNIVERSITIES IN The Madras, Bombay, Nagpur and Lahore univer- 
RBOABD TO AORiouLTu- sities have faculties of agriculture. The 
RAL RESEARCH. Calcutta University has established a Chair 

of Agriculture and the University of Benares has now founded a 
similar Chair to which we make further reference in our chapter on 
Education, paragraph 463. But it does not appear that, at any 
Indian university, steps have been taken to bring agricultural 
research into close relationship with the other branches of science taught 
at the universities. Agricultural research is regarded as entirely a 
matter for the government agricultural colleges. It should not, in our 
view, be isolated in this way. In a country so large as India, in which 
the problems involving research in every direction which must be solved 
if the potentialities of agricultural production are to be realised are so 
numerous, it is plain that government institutions cannot cover the 
whole field. The importance of carrying out agricultural research in 
the closest touch with other branches of scientific research can hardly 
bo exaggerated. The advantages of mutual intercourse between 
research workers in different fields have been demonstrated in many 
countries, and Indian universities and agricultural colleges can no longer 
afford to work in isolation. We look forward to a state of affairs 
in which the universities will not only initiate agricultural research 
but will also undertake schemes of research, the importance of 
which is brought to their notice by the agricultural departments. 
It will, we fear, be long before the universities are in a position to take 
over agricultural research to the extent to which it has been taken over 
by universities in western countries but this is the end which should be 
kept steadily in view and which both the universities and Government 
should endeavour to reach as speedily as possible. It is with a view to 
facilitating advance in this direction that we have provided for the 
representation of universities on the Council of Agricultural Kesearch 
and on the provincial committees which will work in co-operation with it. 
We have also suggested that the Council of Agricultural Research should 
be in a position to make grants for research work in connection with 
agriculture carried out at the universities. 

In the meantime, the universities can make a most valuable con- 
tribution to the advancement of agricultural research in India by raising 
the standard of their scientific teaching. It was clear from the evidence 
we received that the character of this teaching leaves much to be desired. 
In our chapter on Education, we have mentioned the large number of 
students attending even the residential universities and this and the 


overcrowding of classes which inevitably results from it make the attain- 
ment of a high standard of individual instruction in any branch of science 
difficult. In such circumstances, the development of practical classes 
and the allotment of more time to laboratory work is much to be desired. 
While we do not suggest that a special agricultural bias should be given 
to such practical training, we would emphasise the value of the study of 
agricultural questions in the training of senior science students. We 
would, in this connection, again point to the example of Rothamsted, 
the eminence of which in the world of agricultural research is universally 
acknowledged but where previous agricultural knowledge is not regarded 
as an essential, or indeed as an important, qualification for appointment 
to the staff. It is for the Indian universities to turn out better botanists, 
better chemists and better biologists and the improvement most calculated 
to achieve this end is the provision of more adequate practical training 
in these branches of science. If this improvement is effected, those 
who benefit from it will have no difficulty in proceeding to specialisation 
in these subjects along agricultural lines. 

63. It has not been possible, in the discussion of the agricultural 
THE PROVINCIAL co ^ e g es * n our chapter on Education, entirely to 

RESEARCH iNSTi- separate their educational functions from their acti- 
TUTES. vities in regard to research and the latter have, there- 

fore, been indirectly touched upon in that chapter. Here we would explain 
that, in emphasising the position of Pusa as a centre for research work 
on problems affecting all India, we have had no desire to minimise the 
importance of the work to be done at the provincial research institutions. 
Our proposals for the constitution of a Council of Agricultural Research 
will have shown that this is very far f rdm our intention. On the other hand, 
we wish to stress the desirability of securing the best men possible for such 
work and to express our earnest hope that the cessation of recruitment 
for the Indian Agricultural Service will not result in any lowering of the 
standard of research in the provincial institutions. We revert to this 
subject in our chapter on The Agricultural Services where the training, 
rates of pay and other conditions of service for research workers 
are discussed. 

64. The co-ordination of the research work carried on in the various 
T ri,. sections of a research institute is only a degree less 


NATION AND CO-OPERA- important than that of co-ordinating the work of 
TION IN RESEARCH the institution as a whole with that of other research 
INSTITUTES. institutions. Work is apt to get into a groove. 

Barriers are apt to arise, especially when research institutions are located 
in remote places where the intellectual stimulus provided by intercourse 
with intelligent outside opinion, not necessarily of a scientific character, is 
absent. We hope that the Council of Agricultural Research will do much 
to further what may be described as internal co-ordination and co-oper- 
ation, as well as external, but we think that more definite steps should be 
taken to secure this. Pusa already has a Council consisting of the heads of 
sections with the Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India in his 
capacity as Director of the Institute as chairman, but we are doubtful 
if the existence of this Council has in any way tended to bring the 


branches of work carried on in the Institute closer together. The diffi- 
culty under discussion is certainly not special to Indian research 
institutions and we were much impressed by the arrangements which 
are made at Rothamsted with a view to overcoming it. Rothamsted, 
like Pusa, has a Staff Council consisting of the heads of sections with 
the Director as chairman but it also includes two members elected by 
the staff who are not heads of departments. The Staff Council meets 
once a month when it hears from the head of each department an account 
of his programme of work and discusses it with him. The whole of 
the staff together with any post-graduate and other workers at the 
Institute assembles twice a month, except in the holiday season, to 
hear from some one person an account of the work he has done and to 
discuss it. All the work of the station is thus brought under review 
before it is published. The laboratory assistants are also invited 
to attend when the subject interests them. The entire body of 
workers also meet daily ; there are no formalities but every 
worker has the opportunity of meeting the others. All the junior 
members of the staff are expected to have a general acquaintance with the 
work of every department of the Institute, to be able to show scientific 
visitors round and to explain, in broad outlines, the investigations in 
progress. To facilitate acquisition of this knowledge, statements are 
drawn up periodically by the heads of the various departments and 
circulated among the staff ; staff tours of the laboratories and fields 
are also arranged when suitable demonstrations are given. It is held 
that the result of these activities is that the work of the various 
departments tends to grow into one whole ; much joint work is arranged 
and there is considerable discussion and interchange of views. 
We have described the system followed at Rothamsted in detail as it 
appears to us well calculated to secure the maximum of co-opera- 
tion between the different sections of research institutions and we 
recommend the adoption of a somewhat similar system in all agricultural 
research institutions in this country. 

65. In Chapter II, paragraph 30, we have described the constitution 

and functions of the Indian Central Cotton 
" Committee and, in paragraph 41, we have 

stated our view that the constitution of a number 
of similar committees for other crops does not offer a solution of the 
problem of advancing agricultural research in India. This problem 
must, broadly speaking, be dealt with as a whole and not in sections. 
At the same time, if any particular trade feels that its interests are not 
sufficiently recognised by the proposals we have put forward in regard to 
research generally, we see no objection whatever to the constitution 
of an organisation on the lines of the Indian Central Cotton Committee 
to deal with its special problems provided that it is willing to tax itself 
for this purpose. As we have explained, the Indian Central Cotton 
Committee is financed by a cess of two annas per bale on all cotton used 
in mills in British India and exported from India. The only other 
products on which a similar cess is levied are tea and lac. A cess of six 
annas is levied on every hundred pounds of tea exported and the proceeds 
of this, which now amount to over Rs. 12 lakhs per #imim, are made 


over to the Indian Tea Cess Committee to be utilised in promoting the 
interests of the Indian tea industry. The money is spent mainly on 
advertisement and propaganda. A cess of four annas a maund on 
exports of lac and of two annas a maund on exports of lao refuse is 
also levied. The proceeds of this cess are administered by the 
Indian Lac Association for Eesearch which was constituted in 1921. 
If any other trade is willing to submit to a similar cess for the purpose 
of promoting additional research on the product in which it is interested 
and, generally, of advancing the solution of all problems connected with 
the cultivation, marketing and manufacture of that product, it should 
be encouraged to do so, but such cesses should, in our view, be imposed 
only with the consent and at the instance of the trade. 

To the general principle that the trade concerned should provide 
the funds required for any research on the product in which it is 
interested beyond that undertaken in the normal course by the 
agricultural departments, we would make one important exception. 
Jute is at present a monopoly of India but there is no guarantee that it 
will remain so. The danger that an artificial product may be discovered 
and placed on the market at a price which will enable it to replace 
jute has to be faced. The history of indigo is a striking illustration of 
the possibilities in this direction. The situation is one which demands 
constant watchfulness. For jute to retain its present position, it is 
necessary that every effort should be made to improve quality, outturn 
and methods of manufacture and to maintain the relative cheapness 
of jute as compared with other fibres. Unless this is done, there is an 
ever present risk that jute will Cease to be cultivated and that a blow 
at the prosperity of Bengal will be struck from which it will take long 
to recover. In these circumstances, we consider it most desirable that 
a Jute Committee which would watch over the interests of all branches 
of the trade from the field to the factory should be formed. The con- 
stitution of such a committee should present no difficulty as it should 
be as easy to obtain as satisfactory a personnel for it, composed of 
representatives of the agricultural departments of the three provinces 
concerned, of growers, merchants and manufacturers as it has been for 
the Indian Central Cotton Committee. This is a matter in which the 
Government of India are very closely interested as they derive a large 
income from the export duties on raw and manufactured 
jute. These duties brought in a revenue of nearly four crores 
of rupees in 1926-27. In addition, there is a small cess of two annas a 
bale on raw jute and twelve annas per ton on manufactured jute, the 
proceeds of which go to the Calcutta Improvement Trust. In view of 
the fact that the export duty brings in so large a revenue to the Imperial 
Government which is, therefore, very directly interested in the prosperity 
of the jute industry, we consider that this is a case in which the expendi- 
ture on additional research and on the promotion of the interests of the 
trade generally should be met from central funds. Our recommendation 
thus is that a Central Jute Committee should be formed on the lines of 
the Indian Central Cotton Committee and that it should be financed by 
an annual grant of Us. 5 lakhs. The necessary link between the research 


work on jute and all-India research work would >be provided fey the 
appointment of the Chairman of the Council of Agricultural Research as 
Chairman of the Central Jute Committee. 

66. In paragraph 40 above, we have pointed out that Pusa is 

v , not an ideal site for a central research institution 


OTHER CENTRAL for all India. It is not surprising, therefore, that 

BESBABOH iNSTi- it has been urged before us that much of the work 
TtTTioKs. carried on there is of little or no value to the tropi- 

cal regions of peninsular India or to the vast agricultural tracts 
of the north-west. It has been suggested that, in these circumstances, 
at least one other central research institution should be immediately 
established in peninsular India, preferably at Coimbatore, where work 
of ail-India importance on such crops as rice, coconuts and groundnuts 
could be carried on. We are not in favour of such a course in present 
conditions. The first essential, in our view, is to bring the existing central 
institution in closer touch with provincial institutions and to infuse a 
new spirit into the whole organisation of agricultural research in India. 
When this has been done, it will be time enough to think of the estab- 
lishment of additional central research institutions on any large scale. 
Financial considerations and the recruitment of the additional staff 
which would be required are questions the importance of which cannot 
be overlooked. It must be admitted that there are many fundamental 
problems, especially in relation to the crops grown in tropical India, for 
work on which Pusa is not a very suitable centre. It will be for the 
Council of Agricultural Research to ctalermine how far the deficiencies of 
Pusa in this respect can be remedied^ by the establishment of small 
sub-stations and to what extent the funds which will be placed at its 
disposal for the advancement of agricultural research can suitably be 
utilised for this purpose. 

67. The Board of Agriculture in India was constituted in 1904. It 
was intended that it should fulfil two functions. 
F These were to advise Government on agricultural 
matters generally and to bring agricultural experts 
working in various parts of India into touch with each other. Until 
1912, it met annually at Pusa, but, since then, the meetings have been 
held biennially, and alternately at Pusa and in a province. The member- 
ship of the Board has been enlarged from time to time. As at present 
constituted, it consists of 56 members. In addition to the Agricultural 
Adviser and the heads of sections at Pusa, it includes the directors of 
agriculture in the provinces, members of the expert staff of the 
provincial agricultural departments, the Director of the Imperial 
Institute of Veterinary Research and representatives of the provincial 
veterinary departments, the Secretary of the Indian Central Cotton 
Committee, the Director General of Commercial Intelligence, representa- 
tives of the Indian Tea Association and the United Planters Association 
of Southern India, and members of the agricultural departments of those 
Indian States which possess such departments. In addition, a limited 
number of non-officials are invited to attend as visitors. The functions 
of the Board as an advisory body to the' Government of India and local 



69. Indian soils, local conditions and agricultural practices vary to an 
extraordinary degree. A brief description of the 
^OOMI^ OP THB a g r i cu itural economy of the different provinces 
will be found in the introductions to the provincial 
volumes of evidence. It has not been possible in this Report to discuss 
in detail every variation in tillage and cropping as practised throughout 
India. We have, therefore, confined ourselves to those features of 
Indian agriculture which are more or less common to India as a whole 
or which are of substantial importance in particular tracts, and have 
framed recommendations accordingly. We propose in this chapter 
to deal with the vajioua^ factors affecting^ crop production other than 
irrigation. Irrigation is of ^cETmportance that we discuss it in a 
separate chapter. 

70. For the benefit of readers who may be unacquainted with 
Indian conditions, it may be explained that 
CROPS O^IXVIA^ throughout northern India, the Central Provinces 
and the greater part of the Bombay Presidency, 
there are two well defined crop seasons, the rainy and the cold, yielding 
two distinct harvests, the autumn or khwij and the spring or robi. 
In the south of the peninsula, the greater part of which gets the benefit 
of the north-east monsoon from October to January and in which 
extremes of temperature are absent, the distinction between the seasons 
tends to disappear and there are merely early and late sowings of 
the same crops. As a general statement, both in the north and south, 
the principal kharif crops are rice, juar, bajra and sesamum, to which 
should be added cotton for northern, jute for north-eastern, and ground- 
nut and ragi for southern India. The principal rabi crops in northern 
India are wheat, gram, linseed, rape, mustard and barley ; and in 
southern India, juar, rice, sesamum and gram. The season for cotton 
in the south of the peninsula varies with the type and the soil but 
it is throughout a much later crop than in other parts of India. 
Sugarcane is on the ground for at least ten months of the year. 
The total area sown with the principal crops in British India in 1925-26, 
the latest year for which statistics are available is shown below : 

Acres Acres 

(in OOO's) (in 000*8) 

Rice .. 80,172 Linseed .. 2,524 

Wheat .. 23,979 Sesamum .. 3,410 

Barley . . 6,610 Rape and mustard . . 3,089 

Juar .. 20,617 Groundnut .. 3,767 

Baira .. 12,269 Sugarcane .. 2,638 

Gram .. 14,325 Cotton .. 18,186 

Maize .. 5,504 Jute . 2,923 
Ragi . . 3,881 


The area under fodder crops, i.e., crops used exclusively for fodder in 
normal times, in 1925-26 was 8,932,000 acres. 

Crops irrigated are, in the main, rice, wheat, barley, sugarcane and 
garden crops. One-fifth of the total area under crops was irrigated 
in 1925-26. 

71. Nowtfere in India does the traveller pass over the rapid succession 
THB SOILS OF INDIA * 8 eo ^^ ca ^ formation's he may meet in the course 

of a journey across England. Several of the great 
geological series are but feebly represented ; others are altogether 
absent. Again, the variations of rainfall from district to district in 
India are seldom sharply marked away from the northern mountains 
and the Western and Eastern Ghats. Over wide stretches of the country 
rocks and soils are subject to much the same amount of annual 
leaching by water. 

The geological structure of the country and the character of the 
climate over wide areas thus combine to produce an appearance of 
uniformity in its soils. But this appearance is deceptive. Wherever, 
as in the presidencies of Madras and Bombay, a careful classification 
of soils from the agricultural point of view has been carried out, 
pronounced variations in quality have been detected not only in the 
uplands but in the plains. 

In any particular area, these variations are usually associated with the 
depth of soil, and lateral changes are not rapid, but when subjected to 
the action of flowing water, the texture may vary widely even within 
the confines of the lands of one village. Where, as may often happen 
in the uplands, changes of composition occur in the gneisses, crystalline 
schists and traps forming the subsoil, these changes become evident 
in the chemical composition of the soil. 

Reference to local soils will be found in the series of introductions \vhich 
preface the evidence taken in the provinces. Here it will suffice if a 
very brief description is given of the predominant types of soil found 
associated with the main geological series of India. These are the 
red soils derived from the rooks of the archaean system, the black 
cotton or rcgur soils which are usually associated with the middle period 
traps of the Deccan but are also found in Madras where they overlie, 
and are derived from, certain types of rocks occurring in the archaean 
system, the recent alluvium which is specially developed in the plains 
of northern India but of frequent occurrence elsewhere, and the latentic 
soils which form a belt around the peninsula and extend through east 
Bengal into Assam and Burma. 

72. The crystalline and gneissic rocks of the archaean system cover the 
THE n" TT w ^ole of peninsular India outside the areas described 

t.rLEi KViLt O\jLLt3 , 

OF THB CRYSTALLINE in subsequent paragraphs. These formations thus 
TBAOT - characterise almost the whole of Madras, Mysore and 

the south-east of Bombay and extend through the east of Hyderabad and 
the Central Provinces to Orissa, Chota Nagpur and the south of Bengal 
Eocks of the same series are exposed throughout the whole of Bundel- 
khund and in north-western India appear as isolated outcrops extending 


north of Baroda in the Aravallis and Rajputana. Gneisses and crystalline 
rocks also occur along the whole length of the Himalayas and a fairly 
broad zone of rocks similar to the gneisses of the peninsula is found in 
Assam and extends through Burma from north to south. Many of these 
gneisses and schists contain a large proportion of biotite and hornblende 
and, as they are highly ferruginous, the soils derived from them are deep 
red, brown and even black in colour. Crystalline limestones and 
dolomites belonging to the series are found in the Central Provinces 
and other localities in the peninsula. 

The wide variations in the characteristics of the rocks included in 
the archaean system give rise to corresponding differences in the soils 
derived from them. These soils also differ greatly in consistency, depth 
and fertility ; in general, they vary by intermediate stages from the 
poor, thin, gravelly and light coloured soils of the uplands to the rich, 
deep, darker -co loured, fertile soils of the lower levels. Where the depth of 
soil is favourable, irrigation, either by wells or canals, can be applied 
advantageously. As a rule, soils of this class are deficient in nitrogen, 
phosphoric acid and humus but potash and lime are generally sufficient. 
73, The type of soil known as black cotton soil or regur covers prac- 
_ tically the whole of the Deccan trap and large areas 

IHE BLACK COTTON - ji T* 11 TT i rs i i i ri t ^ 

OE UEOUR SOILS. m * ne Bcllary, Kurnool, Cuddapah, Coimbatore 

and Tinnevelly districts of Madras. It constitutes 
the second great division of the soil types of India and is itself divisible 
into two groups. 

The Deccan trap extends over about 200,000 square miles and covers 
the greater portion of the Bombay ^Presidency, the whole of Berar 
and the western parts of the Central Provinces and Hyderabad. The 
soils throughout this area vary to an extraordinary extent in character 
and productivity. There are the thin and poor soils of the slopes 
and uplands of the lower trap hills which are moderately productive 
only in years with a well distributed monsoon. In the broken country, 
between the hills and the plains, occur deeper and dark-coloured soils 
which are constantly improved by washings Irom the higher levels. 
Finally, in undulating or sloping situations below the general level of the 
foot hills, is to be found the black cotton soil which varies in depth 
according to position and, where very deep, has often been accumulated 
by alluvial deposit. The alluvial areas of black cotljjn soil in the Surat 
and Broach districts of the Bombay Presidency, though outside 
the trap area, have been produced by deposit from rivers flowing 
through it. 

The second group of black cotton soils, those of Madras, do not comprise 
one continuous whole as do those overlying the trap but are divided up 
into a number of large but clearly defined areas. A mineralogical analysis 
of the soils of these different areas discloses the fact that they are derived 
from the rocks with which they are intimately associated and this renders 
it possible readily to distinguish between them and also clearly to differen- 
tiate them from the soils of the trap area. They would appear to have 
been derived from ferruginous schists and gneisses by weathering under 
semi-arid conditions. The soils of the Madras division never attain the 


depth of the soil associated with the trap area. Under them, at varying 
depth, is generally found a well marked bed of kankar which in turn 
overlies the partially weathered rock. 

Although both the Madras and the Deccan soils are derived from the 
rocks of the geological systems with which they are associated, and there- 
fore are of diverse origin, they possess many agricultural characteristics 
in common. Regur is a highly argillaceous, very finely grained, dark or 
black soil containing a high proportion of calcium and magnesium 
carjjonates. It is very tenacious of moisture and extremely sticky when 
wet. It permits, however, of cultivation being carried out within a short 
period after heavy rainfall. The damp soil contracts markedly on drying, 
producing wide and deep fissures in the fields. The dark colour, often 
ascribed in the past to the presence of a considerable proportion of humus, 
appears to be due in reality to the large proportion of iron contained in 
the finest soil pactkjes.* In soils derived from the trap, it is accentuated 
by the presence of titaniferous magnetite but this ingredient is not 
found to any appreciable extent in the Madras soils. 

The suitability of black cotton soil for irrigation is a matter of 
controversy and appears to differ according to the composition of different 
varieties of this soil. Attempts at extensive irrigation of rice and other 
crops on the Hagari experimental farm near Bellary were not successful 
but this has not been the experience in Bombay and probably the two 
types of black cotton soil behave differently in this respect. Phosphoric 
acid, nitrogen and organic matter are generally deficient but potash 
and lime are not . 

74. The alluvial tracts of India are not only the most extensive 
but also agriculturally the most important. A strip 
soiLsT ALLUVIAL of these soils, of varying width, extends along the 
coasts of the peninsula. Much of this is lateritic 
in origin and will be referred to in the succeeding paragraph, but 
extensive areas are found at the mouths and along the courses of the 
great rivers, the Godavan, the Kjstna and the Cauvery. These 
deposits naturally partake of the characteristics cf trie soils found 
in the drainage areas of the rivers, but, in all cases, they consist of 
level tracts of heavy rich loams producing, under irrigation, excellent crops 
of rice, sugarcane, etc. (They are deficient in phosphoric acid, nitrogen 
and humus, but potash and lime are usually present in sufficient quantity. 

Large areas of alluvial soil are also to be found in Burma but the most 
extensive alluvial tract in India is that which forms the vast Indo-Gan- 
getic plain and comprises the greater part of Sind, northern Rajputana, 
the greater part of the Punjab, the United Provinces, Bihar and Bengal 
and half of Assam. The area of this tract is 300,000 square miles and its 
width varies from 300 miles in the west to less than 90 miles in the east. 
The maximum thickness of the deposits has never been ascertained but 
the few borings which have been made show that the depth exceeds 1 ,600 
feet below the ground surface. The soils of the tract are derived mainly 
from the Himalayas. 

* Jfftwoi of the D'parttnint of Agriculture in India, Chemical Series, Vol. 1, No J.X, 
and \ ol. II. No. V. 


The plains of northern India present a monotonous uniformity to the 
eye but their soils differ according to their local origin and vary in consis-f 
tency from drift sand, through loams and fine silts, to clays so stiff that 
drainage is entirely prevented and injurious salts of soda and magnesia 
accumulate, reducing the soil to the sterile condition so well known under 
the names of usar^ref^nd kallar. The subsoils are not uniform in texture 
but consist of well-defined layers varying from pure sand to heavy clay, 
and it would appear probable that the great variations in fertility which 
are encountered, especially in the east where the rainfall is heaviest, are 
not so much due to differences in the surface soil as to the effect of the 
immediate subsoil layers on drainage and the retention of moisture. 
The soils of this tract present a wide field for investigation by the 
physical chemist and the physicist. 

Alluvial soils can, as a rule, be irrigated with great advantage and, with 
ajnoderat_and jwelljHstaib^^ are capable of growing a wide 

variety of crops as the depth of the soil secures great fertility. (The 
amounts of nitrogen and organic matter in these soils vary but are usually 
low. Potash is adequate and phosphoric acid, though not plentiful, is 
generally less deficient than in other Indian soils. The lime content shows 
an extraordinary variation.) The soils of the Tirhut district of Bihar, 
for example, often contain over thirty per cent of carbonate of lime in 
sharp contrast to the soils in adjacent districts which are almost devoid 
of lime. Generally the amount present can be considered sufficient. 

75. A rock peculiar to India and a few other countries is that 

known as latente. This is found as a cap on the 

seas* LATEBITE summits of the basaltic hills and plateaus of Central 

India and along the Eastern and Western Ghats of 

the peninsula. It is also found in Assam and Burma. The mechanical 

weathering of this rock gives rise to extensive areas not only of sedentary 

but also of alluvial soils which, owing to their character and composition 

and the peculiar agricultural problems associated with them, must be 

placed in a category different from the other alluvial soils of India. 

Laterite is a porous clayey rock composed essentially of a mixture 
of the hydrated oxides of iron and aluminium. Geologists attribute its 
formation to the action of sub-aerial weathering agencies on the under- 
lying rock which are either basalts or gneisses. The tracts in which 
it occurs are characterised by warm humid conditions and heavy rainfall. 
In such conditions, the weathering process is carried to an extreme limit 
with the result that the rock contains an exceedingly small proportion of 
those minerals usually associated with the supply of plant food materials 
in soils. Laterite rocks and the soils derived from them are thus markedly 
poor in silicates of the alkalies and alkaline earths. 

The laterite soils show wide divergences in character. Those found on 
the higher levels and, presumably, formed in situ are exceedingly thin 
and gravelly with little power to retain moisture. Their agricultural 
value is, therefore, small. The soils of the valleys and lower levels, on the 
other hand, are dark-coloured heavy loams and clays which readily retain 
moisture and are capable of producing quite good crops. As a general 
rule, the potash, phosphoric acid and lime content of laterite soils is 


deficient but humus is present in quantities decidedly higher than in most 
gther Indian soils. The ferruginous clays of the Nilgiris and the other 
planting districts of south India, Bengal and Assam are generally placed 
in this category. The almost total absence of lime and magnesium from 
laterite soils and the character of the soil matrix constitute their great 
peculiarity and give them their marked acid reaction. The main 
agricultural problem of these soils, apart from the ordinary manurial 
ones, centres around the correction or amelioration of this acidity. 
Considerable attention is being directed to it by the agricultural 
departments of Bengal, Assam and Burma and the scientific staffs of 
the planters' associations. It is unfortunate that the absence of lime 
deposits in the near vicinity of the laterite areas renders the application 
of the obvious methods of amelioration very difficult. 

76. Sufficient has been said to show the extent to which the soils 

of India vary in agricultural quality, and, were the 

SOIL SURVEYS. personnel and the funds available, a soil survey 

would be desirable with the view of classifying and mapping these soils 

by modern methods. A soil survey of the whole of India on the linen 

of the soil survey now in progress in the United States of America would, 

however, be a gigantic enterprise, and we do not recommend that it 

should be undertaken at the present time. At a later period, when 

scientific knowledge is more widely diffused and when competent workers 

can be trained in India, the position may be reconsidered. 

Meanwhile, the agricultural departments should confine their efforts to 
intensive studies of the more important types of soil found within their 
areas. Material for such studies already exists. In some provinces, a 
careful examination of soils for the purpose of assessing the land revenue 
has been carried out, and even where there has not been a field-to-field 
examination, a general description of th e quality of soils has been included 
in most settlement reports. Much information regarding the ch emical and 
mechanical analysis of the chief types of soil has been collected in most 
provinces in the course of the ordinary routine work of the agricultural 
departments. If this information were collated and published and a 
full description of the methods employed in collecting it were given for 
purposes of comparison, it would, in combination with the agricultural 
information already on record, furnish a basis not only for developments 
in general research work but also for devising schemes for the improve- 
ment of land by the use of appropriate fertilisers, and for mitigating 
the damage so frequently caused by the uneconomic use of irrigation 
water. A field survey of limited scope, followed by laboratory examina- 
tion ot the soils collected, has already been carried out for typical areas 
in several provinces, but only in a few instances have the results been 
published in an accessible form. The experience obtained has shown 
that the cost of even such a partial survey is considerable and that 
the cost of a complete soil survey would be prohibitive. Whilst, 
therefore, we recognise the usefulness of all such work, we recommend 
that it should only be undertaken either when there is some specific 
problem to be solved, or when laboratory examination of soils is called 
for to interpret, more fully, valuable information already placed on record 


by, the Settlement Department. We would suggest that the Council of 
Agricultural Research, the establishment of which we have recommended 
in Chapter III, should undertake the collation and publication of all the 
information in regard to the composition and characteristics of Indian 
soils which is available. 

77. The question has been much argued whether the soils of India 
are to-day undergoing a progressive decline in 
OF ferti i itVt Iu discussing this problem, we propose 
to disregard those cases in which, for one cause 
or another, limited areas of land have been rendered unfit for 
cultivation by the formation of injurious salts. Nor are we here 
concerned with such damage as is brought about by the action of running 
water in either eroding the surface soil or burying it beneath deposits 
of sterile material. We leave out of account lands that have recently 
been cleared of forest growth, and on which the deep layers of decayed 
vegetation provide a natural accretion of nitrogen. Such land, when 
first cleared, is far richer in combined nitrogen than is land entirely 
dependent for the process of nitrogen recuperation upon biological 
and chemical action in the soil under the influence of sun and weather, 
and, unless freely manured, it must inevitably, and for many years in 
succession, show an annual drop in fertility as each season's crops are 
produced and harvested. Again, it is evident that where increased 
pressure of population upon the land forces the cultivator to till inferior 
soils, there will occur a decrease in the average outturn. This fact is no 
doubt often responsible for the belief that soils are becoming less fertile. 
Density of population may also lead to a diminution in the number of 
periodical fallows and a resulting increase in weeds, and to an increase 
in the area cultivated in relation to available supplies of manure, and so 
may give rise to soil deterioration. And it must not be forgotten that 
improvements to land, such as terracing, bunding, and the extension of 
irrigation may invalidate, for the purpose in question, a comparison 
between any two statements of crop outturn. 

The point to which we have addressed ourselves is whether long-culti- 
vated agricultural land is to-day suffering a growing diminution in its 
capacity to yield crops, as a consequence of the removal, year by year 
in the form of produce, of more of those substances essential to the 
growth and development of crops than is replaced by nature and by 
the practice of the cultivator. 

We were already in possession of a memorandum prepared for us by 
the Director of Agriculture in Bombay. We communicated with local 
governments in all provinces from which it seemed likely that definite 
evidence on the question of deterioration could be obtained. In answer 
to our enquiry, we have been informed that, in Bombay, Bengal, and 
Burma, there is no evidence of any decline in the yield of staple crops, 
while the local governments of Madras, the United Provinces, and the 
Punjab tell US' that the tendency in those provinces is towards a slight 
increase in outturn. The Government of Bihar and Orissa take the view 
that the available statistics are not sufficiently accurate to justify any 
definite conclusions being drawn from them. 


So far as we have been able to ascertain, no evidence of progressive 
800 deterioration can be deduced from settlement reports, or from these 
in comparison with such earlier records as exist. Mr. W. H. Moreland, 
who, in his " India at the Death of Akbar," hag set forth much of the 
available information bearing on crop production during the reign of 
that ruler, sums up the position in these words " . . . it is highly 
probable that the land which was already under regular cultivation at 
that period has, under similar conditions, given an approximately 
constant return, and clear, positive evidence would be needed to 
establish the fact that a decline has occurred over the bulk of the 
old-established cultivation. " 

The Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India told us in 
evidence that " most of the area under cultivation in India has been 
under cultivation for hundreds of years, and had reached its state of 
maximum impoverishment many years ago." The same witness, 
however, held the view that, in certain areas, there may he taking place 
a continuous reduction in the available phosphates, but we have 
received no definite evidence supporting this view. In this connection, 
it must be remembered that deficiency of combined nitrogen is the 
limiting factor throughout the greater part of India. 

Such experimental data as are at our disposal support the view that, 
when land is cropped year by year, and when the crop is removed and 
no manure is added, a stabilised condition is reached ; natural gains 
balance the plant food materials removed by crops and other losses and] 
no appreciable changes are to be expected in the outturn of crops except 
those due to changing seasons, provided that the same system of culti- 
vation is adhered to. While the paucity of records of crop outturn 
throughout India over any long period of time makes the matter 
impossible of exact proof, we are of opinion that the strong presumption 
is that an overwhelming proportion of the agricultural lands of India 
long ago reached the condition to which experimental data point. A 
balance has been established, and no further deterioration is likely to 
take place under existing conditions of cultivation. 

78. The study of local soil types and local soil conditions, which 
was the first work undertaken by the agricultural 

RESEABCH ON chemists appointed, to the agricultural departments 
CONDITIONS, S IL when they were reorganised in 1905, was an essential 

preliminary to the initiation of research into local 
problems. Much of the research work arising out of these studies has 
proyed of interest and importance to India as a whole. That it has not 
been greater in volume has been due to the fact that the time and energies 
of the scientific officers engaged in it have been largely occupied in the 
collection of data, in carrying out routine analytical work, in training 
assistants and in educational work. The desirability of appointing 
specialist officers for work on specific problems is becoming more and 
more realised and this development will no doubt lead to an increased 
output of research work of general importance. 

It was not long before the work of the agricultural chemists established 
that Indian soils, generally, are seriously deficient in plant food materials 


19 14- -15 1916-17 


1916-19 1920-2! 1922-23 1924-25 





600 I <- 




1915-16 1917-18 1919-20 1921-22 1923-24 1925-26 





1316-17 1918-19 1820-21 1922-23 1924-25 1926-27 

1915-16 1917-18 , 1919-20 1921-22 1923-24 1925-26 

Yield per acrefor All India including Indian States 

To face page 70 (1) 




1916-17 1918-19 1920-21 1922-23 192425 





! r~ 

~T 1 1 


1913-14- J9I5-1G 1917-18 (919-20 1921-22 1923*24 l3e5-26 









1000 - 



- 1200 

" MOO 

- !000 


1915 1917 1919 1921 1323 1925 1927 

^ Yield per at_re for Ail India including Indian States. 


and theifattention was thus attracted to the manurial problems to which 
this deficiency gives rise. Many of these problems were of local interest 
but that of nitrogen deficiency was found to be common to all provinces.! 
The work done at Pusa and Cawnpore demonstrated the very consider- 
able loss of nitrates by drainage during periods of heavy rainfall, and the 
deductions drawn from the records of the drain gauges maintained there 
were amply confirmed by quantitative estimates made in the field 
under very varied conditions of cultivation, cropping, manuring and 
rainfall. For several well defined tracts, it is now possible to state 
the conditions which must be satisfied if the loss due to this and other 
causes is to be reduced to a minimum, but iurther research is necessary 
before generalisations applicable to India as a whole can be formulated. 
The work of recent investigators at Pusa and Nagpur points to the 
conclusion that the gains and losses of nitrates from Indian soils may be 
very much greater than those occurring in temperate climates. At 
Pusa, for example, losses of 00 to 150 Ibs. of nitric nitrogen per acre 
per annum may occur on cultivated fallow land, the actual loss varving 
with the soil ami character of the monsoon. At Nn-gpur, a loss of as 
much as 160 Ibs. of nitric nitrogen per aero per annum has been recorded 
from unirrigated black cotton soil. In comparison with the quantities 
lost through drainage and donitrification, the amounts of nitrate 
removed from soils by most crops are very small. 

(Although but little of the nitrogen removed is returned to the soil in 
the form of manure, there is no definite evidence that the cropping values 
of Indian soils are diminishing. That they are maintained at a low but 
stable level of fertility as a result of the large annual increments of 
nitrogen which accrue from natural recuperative processes in the soil has 
been established by work done in all provinces, and quantitative estimatcb 
of these increments have been made in Bombay, the Central Provinces 
and the Punjab. It has also been established that these increments 
vary widely owing to the operation of causes which have not as y< t been 
clearly defined. Further research in this direction is urgently required to 
determine with greater precision the causes involved and to enable 
practical measures for accelerating the natural recuperative processes 
under varying conditions of soil and rainfall to be devised. Many phases 
of the problem ar$ of a biological character but the lack of suitably 
trained research workers has prevented the biological aspect from 
receiving the attention it deserves. In particular, little work has h itherto 
been done on the recuperative processes in the extensive areas in which 
rice is grown under swamp conditions and in which the agricultural 
conditions and practices differ in a very marked degree from th<Afj& 
obtaining in the rest of India J 

The low humus content of Indian soils is, to some extent, due to the 
fact that organic manures are so little used. Its primary cause is, how- 
ever, the very rapid decomposition of the organic matter in the soil 
which takes place in tropical and sub-tropical conditions and which 
makes it difficult to maintain a sufficiently high proportion <J humus. 
The experiments with various forms of organic manures which have bei n 
carried out by the agricultural departments have shown that the amount 


of humus present in the sail can be materially increased, though not to 
the extent possible in temperate climates. Quantitative measurements 
have, howevq& seldom been made and, in general, the experimental 
proce4pe' followed has not departed from stereotyped methods. 
There is thus considerable scope for investigation into the factors which 
govern the rate and the character of the decomposition of organic manures 
in Indian soils in order to determine the conditions in which they can 
be utilised to the greatest advantage. In paragraphs 83 and 84, we 
emphasise the importance of investigations into the economic production 
of bulky organic manures, including poudrette. 

Most of the problems connected witiTtEe" lateritic soils of India and 
Burma are of local and restricted interest but that which arises from 
their deficiency in lime ABcUJieir consequent acid character is one of 
outstanding generaF importance, Much research has been directed 
towards the discovery of means for ameliorating soils of this character 
by such methods as the application of lime and wood ash in varying 
cultural conditions. Where the humus content is low, the nature of the 
acid substances in lateritic soils has not been ascertained, but there is 
some evidence that their toxicity may be related to the presence of 
soluble or colloidal aluminium compounds. In some instances, similar 
iron compounds have also come under suspicion. These are problems 
which require further study. They are often rendered still more compli- 
cated by the marked deficiency of potash which is found in certain 
iateritic soils. Where there is a deficiency of potash, a closer study is 
required, on the one hand, of the extent to which the methods of ameliora- 
tion employed succeed in modifying the supply of potash available in 
the soil and, on the other, of the action of special potash manuring on 
the acidity and toxicity of the soil. (A. connection between potash 
deficiency and the prevalence of crop diseases and pests has been observed 
in a few instances, and the possibility that a general relation between 
the two may exist requires to be kept in view.J 

^As already mentioned, the soil conditions existing in the tracts in which 
rice is grown in swamp areas possess characteristics which mark them 
off from those of other Indian soils. Some work has been done on the 
aeration of the roots of the rice plant, on the utility and functions of green 
manures in relation to the rice crop and on certain aspects of soil biological 
factors. Little is, however, known not only about the recuperative pro- 
cesses in such soils but also about the effects of varying rates of drainage, 
the most suitable methods of manuring the crop with special reference 
to the supply of nitrogen, and the action of varying cultural conditions 
upon soil conditions both in the cropping season and when the crop is off 
the ground. In general, it may be said that the whole position is very 
obscure and that, if substantial advance is to be made in the cultivation 
of one of the most important food crops in India, far more research work 
on the soils and soil conditions in which rice is grown is required ) 

We have indicated in general terms the lines on which we consider it 
eminently desirable that research work on soils and soil conditions should 
be carried out in the immediate future. The problems are So numerous 
and so complex that rapid and uninterrupted progress cannot be expected 


unless the %tafi of research workers is largely increased. The work 
so far accomplished shows that the time has coine when the assistance 
of specialist officers can be usefully called in, more especially in the 
direction of bacteriological, physical and biological research. The 
agricultural departments of the Central Provinces, Madras and the 
Punjab already have agricultural bacteriologists and we are glad to 
note that a soil physicist has been added to the cadre of the Bombay 
Agricultural Department and that it is proposed to create a similar 
appointment in the Punjab in the near future. Sanction has also been 
o btained for the appointment of a soil phy^ieiet in Madras. Physical 
chemists will find a wide field for the utilisation of their special knowledge' 
in the study of the factors governing drainage, the movement of soil 
moisture, the control of the physical characteristics of the soil and the 
problems of acidity and base exchange. That ,the universities can 
assist in the study of such problems is illustrated by the work that is 
being done by the Department of Physical Chemistry in the University 
of Calcutta. The appointment of specialist officers in the agricultural 
departments would also advance the solution of the soil problems 
specifically arising out of irrigation. Bacteriologists and biological 
chemists are also required if full and accurate knowledge is to be gained 
of the factors which domina^^^U recug^ration, the conservation of 
manurial constituents and the (Semination of the optimum conditions 
of plant nutrition in tropical conditions. We do not consider it advisable 
to make detailed recommendations regarding the expansion of the staff 
required for work on the problems the nature of which we have 
indicated above. Such expansion must depend on the extent to which 
funds are available and trained workers are forthcoming. There is, in 
our view, no direction in which the Council of Agricultural Research, 
should be able to render greater service than in the promoting, guidance 
and co-ordination of research work on soils and soil conditions. It is to 
that body that provincial governments should turn for advice regarding 
the appointment of specialist officers to undertake it. 

79. Before passing on to consider the extent to which soil deficiencies 
can be rectified by the application of natural or 
OIL EROSION. artificial fertilisers, mention should be made of the 
very definite instances of soil deterioration which arises from the 
erosion of the surface soil by flood water. This problem is of special 
importance in the submontane districts of northern India generally, and 
particularly in the United Provinces and in western Bengal, where 
extensive areas on the banks of the large rivers, such as the Jumna and 
the Chambal, have lost all agricultural value by the formation of a net- 
work of ravines. Fluvial action is not the only cause of soil erosion. The 
action of the monsoon rains on the sloping hillsides in upland tracts in 
peninsular India, more especially in the southern districts of the Bombay 
Presidency and in Chota Nagpur, produces the same result though not 
in such striking degree. In the United Provinces, the main remedy for 
soil erosion # has been sought in the afforestation of the ravine tracts. 
Experiments in this direction are being carried out and some twenty 
square milesvare being converted into forests which not only prevent 


further erosion but also serve as fuel and fodder reserves fowfche adjacent 
villages. Although it has yet to be established that the afforestation 
work will prove directly profitable, the success which has so far been 
achieved is sufficient, in our view, to justify its rapid expansion. In 
Bombay, the measures adopted to prevent soil erosion are the terracing 
of land and the construction of earth and stone embankments (tals). 
In the past, these were left entirely to the individual cultivator who had 
to rely on his own resources to find the best site for the construction of 
the embankment or the correct way in which to align it. The result was 
that he frequently selected a site which involved him in the construction 
of unnecessary earth work and also endangered the safety of the embank- 
ment -in seasons of abnormal rainfall. Advice on these matters is now 
given in those tracts of the Bombay Presidency which are liable to 
scarcity by the staff of the superintending engineer on special duty to 
investigate natural resources for the protection of lands from famine 
and, outside those tracts, by two subordinate officers working under his 
orders. This represents a distinct advance but we are of opinion that the 
question is not one in regard to which it should be left to the cultivator 
to seek advice. It is desirable that the exact extent of the evil should 
be investigated and that, if the scale on which erosion is proceeding 
is found to justify such a course, schemes for preventing it should 
be prepared. The manner in which such schemes should be financed, 
whether by co-operative effort or by loans to individual cultivators under 
the Land Improvement Loans Act, would also require examination. 
In western Bengal, where no steps have yet been taken to deal with the 
problem presented by erosion, and in the submontane districts of the 
Punjab where the measures adopted have not achieved much success, 
we would suggest that the feasibility of combining the methods adopted 
in the United Provinces and Bombay should be investigated. The 
methods employed in Bombay would also appear specially applicable to 
Ohota Nagpur. 

80. Of the principal plant-food materials in which the soils of India 
are deficient, by far the most important (except in 
BBTIUSBBS. p ar ts of the crystalline tracts where the deficiency of 
phosphates may be more serious) is nitrogen, and the manurial problem 
in India is, in the main, one of nitrogen deficiency. India, as is well 
known, depends almost exclusively on the recuperative effects of natural 
processes in the soil to restore the combined nitrogen annually 
removed in the crops, for but little of this is returned to the soil in any 
other way. Much of the farmyard manure available is burnt as 
fuel whilst a large quantity of combined nitrogen is exported in 
the form of oil-seeds, food and other grains, and animal products 
such as hides and bones. This loss is in no way compensated by the 
importation of nitrogenous fertilisers, for 1925-26 was the first year in 
which the imports of sulphate of ammonia into this country, which 
amounted only to 4,724 tons, exceeded the exports and was also the 
firs^year in which the greater part of the production of t#$B fertiliser 
by the Tata Iron and Steel Company at Jamshedpur and if the coal- 
fields of Bengal and Bihar and Orissa was consumed in In<&i. In these 


circumstances^ it is fortunate that the recuperative processes in the 
soil are more pronounced in tropical and sub-tropical than in 
temperate regions. Although it has been stated in evidence before us 
that it has not been established that improved and higher yielding 
varieties of crops, more especially of wheat and sugarcane, take more 
from the soil than the varieties they replace, and that their cultivation 
on present lines will not, therefore, be followed by any loss of permanent 
fertility, we are of opinion that there is justification for the view that 
improved varieties of crops generally require, for their fullest develop- 
ment, more liberal manurfal treatment than those ordinarily grown. 
The subject is one which requires careful study by the agricultural 
departments in India and should form an essential part of the investi- 
gations discussed in the following paragraph. 

81. An acceleration of the recuperative processes in the soil can 

be effected by improved agricultural methods, 
MENTgJ URrAL EXPBBI ~ by adequate soil aeration, judicious rotations and 

the cultivation of green manure crops. The loss of 
combined nitrogen can also be partially made up by the application 
of natural and artificial manures. With certain definite exceptions, 
however, such as, for instance, sugarcane and the more valuable garden 
crops, it has yet to be determined for what conditions and for what crops 
artificial manures can be profitably used to stimulate crop production 
in India. In this connection, we have been impressed by the impor- 
tance of research into the fundamental problems connected with losses in 
nitrogen and with nitrogen recuperation. We saw something of the 
work in this field which was being carried on at Pusa by Dr. Harrison 
and at Nagpur by Dr. Annett. Although, ever since the reorganisation 
of the agricultural departments in 1905, manurial experiments have 
engaged a large part of their time and energies and have been 
carried out on every agricultural station in India, it cannot be said 
that the agricultural experts are even yet in a position to give 
satisfactory advice to the cultivator in regard to the use of manures. 
A large amount of data has been collected but it has not been studied 
systematically or reduced to a form which would enable clear and 
definite conclusions to be drawn. (jThe problem requires to be studied 
in three aspects, in relation, in the first instance, to the crops which are 
dependent solely on rainfall, in the second, to crops which are grown on 
irrigated land and, lastly, to the planters' crops an$ intensive cultiva- 
tion such as that of sugarcane and garden crops. It is hardly necessary 
to point out that the use of nitrogenous or other artificial fertilisers is 
not profitable in all conditions. Where crop production is limited by 
a small rainfall, the annual additions of combined nitrogen to the soil 
as the result of natural processes may be sufficient to meet the needs of 
a crop the outturn of which is limited by the moisture available. It 
has, for example, been found in the Central Provinces that the 
application of fertilisers benefits dry crops, including unirrigated cotton, 
only in yearayshen the rainfall is adequate and that, in particular, it 
does not ben$i wheat which, in that province, is grown on rainfall only. 
The planting ^community, which has its own specialist officers, needs 
MO y 286 <J 


no advice from the agricultural departments in regard to the economic 
use of manures. We would, however, take this opportunity of stressing 
the value of close touch between the community and the depart- 
ments in regard to this and other agricultural matters. It is essential 
that the departments should be in a position to give the ordinary 
cultivator, both of irrigated and unirrigated crops, definite guidance 
on the point. The first step is the careful study of the existing material 
and the correlation of the results hitherto obtained. The second step 
is the formulation of a programme of experiment with the object of 
ascertaining, with all possible accuracy, the extent to which fertilisers 
can be used with profit. This programme should include the laying out 
of a short series of permanent manurial plots, on lines appropriate to 
conditions in India, on provincial experimental farms. Only by conducting 
manurial experiments over a number of years will it be possible to compile 
such records as would make a substantial contribution to the knowledge 
of the problems of manures and manuring under tropical ancj sub-tropical 
conditions about which little is yet known. The scientific value of 
continuous experiments depends on accurate methods of collection of 
all relevant data with a view to their subsequent correlation. All such 
schemes for manurial trials would ordinarily be drawn up by the Director 
of Agriculture in close consultation with the agricultural chemist and the 
deputy directors of agriculture under whose immediate supervision the 
experiments would be conducted. We wish especially to emphasise the 
importance of manurial experiments on unirrigated land as the cultivator 
of such land, who runs, with his very limited financial resources, the risk of 
losing his crop in an unfavourable season, stands most in need of guidance 
in this matter. The study of the available data and the formulation of an 
ordered programme to replace the present somewhat haphazard methods 
of dealing with the problem would, we think, provide sufficient work 
to justify an officer of the Agricultural Department being placed on 
special duty for a limited period, but we prefer to make no definite 
recommendations on this point and to leave it to the consideration of the 
local governments. Local conditions vary so greatly between province 
and province, especially in regard to unirrigated land, that it does not 
appear necessary to attach an officer to Pusa specially to assist the 
provinces in this investigation. The Council of Agricultural Kesearch 
should be in a position to advise as to the manner in which the experi- 
ments can best be conducted so as to secure uniformity of method as 
far as possible and to render the results obtained in one province of 
some value to other provinces. 

82. The first question which arises, in considering the internal 

_ supplies of nitroaen available in India and the 

INTERNAL SOURCES .\ 31 i-iii 1^111 i 

OF SUPPLY AND THBis detnods by which these can best be developed, 

DEVELOPMENT is that of the use of farmyard manure as fuel. 

(a) M*w^ D The view is g enerall 7 held that it is the absence of 

a sufficient supply of firewood which, ovet large 

parts of India, compels the burning of cowdung as fuel. But it 

must be recognised that there is often a definite prefe|fence for this 

form of fuel, as its slow burning character is regarded as making 


it specially suitable to the needs of the Indian house-wife. Thus 
we are informed that, in Burma, immigrant labourers from India 
persist in using cowdung as fuel, although an abundant supply of fire- 
wood is readily available. Our evidence does not suggest any alterna- 
tive fuel for domestic purposes in districts where wood and coal are dear. 
In some tracts, cotton stalks, the dry stubble and stalks of tur (Cajanus 
indicus), the pith of jute and sann hemp and the megass of sugarcane, 
where the use of the McGlashan furnace leaves a surplus which is not 
required for boiling the juice, could be utilised for fuel to a far greater 
extent than they are at present. Fuel plantations, more especially irri- 
gated plantations, the formation of which we discuss in Chapters VIII 
and X, can assist only in a very limited area. In our view, the agricultural 
departments have a difficult task to perform in attempting to promote 
the utilisation of farmyard manure for its proper purpose. Propaganda 
in this direction can only prove effective if an alternative fuel is suggested 
and if the cultivator can be sufficiently imbued with a sense of thrift 
to induce him to burn that which will probably seem, to him, a less 
satisfactory substance. There has been little advance in regard to the 
preservation of manure since Dr. Voelcker wrote his report on Indian 
agriculture in 1893. The practice of providing litter for cattle is rarely, if 
ever, adopted except on government farms. No efforts are made by the 
cultivator to preserve cattle urine. Manure pits are still seldom found 
in Indian villages. Where they do exist, no attempts are made to 
preserve the manurial value of the contents or to safeguard the public 
health by covering the material with earth. 

83. While the task is difficult, there is no doubt that something can 
be done to promote the better preservation of 
OMPOSIS. S uch farmyard manure as is not diverted to 
consumption as fuel, by using it as a compost with village sweepings, 
leaves, and other decomposed vegetable matter. In this connection, we 
are impressed by the results achieved in the Gurgaon district of the 
Punjab, where many villages have, as a direct consequence of propaganda, 
adopted the practice of depDsiting in pits all village sweepings and refuse, 
along with a proportion of co\vdung. The effects on crops to which men 
manure has been applied, and on the sanitation and general amenities of 
the villages, were most marked. There is no reason why efforts on 
similar lines should not be made in other parts of the country. The 
Indian cultivator has much to learn from the Chinese and the Japanese 
cultivator in regard to the manufacture of composts. Artificial fertilisers 
are used as little in China as they are in India ; but there is 
no organic refuse of any kind in that country which does not 
find its way back to the fields as a fertiliser. Not only is all human 
waste carefully collected and utilised, but enormous quantities of 
compost are manufactured from the waste of cattle, horses, swine and 
poultry, combined with herbage, straw, and other similar waste. 
Garbage #nd sewage are both used as manure. The agricultural 
departments ^in India are fully alive to the necessity for instructing 
the cultivator in the better preservation of manure and the use 
of composts, but there is great scope for an extension of their activities 
MO Y 286 6a 


in this respect* For example, the possibilities of manufacturing 
synthetic farmyard manure from waste organic material on the lines 
worked out at Kothamsted deserve to be fully investigated. At 
Rothamsted, research was at first directed towards discovering artificial 
means whereby the decomposition of straw might be effected. Straw 
contains three essentials to plant growth, viz., nitrogen, phosphate 
and potash. The work proved successful and a method was devised for 
treating large quantities of straw for the preparation of manure. Reagents 
were subsequently discovered, which were capable of bringing about the 
rapid rotting, not only of straw but also of other plant residues, and thus 
of producing a valuable organic manure at a moderate cost. Synthetic 
farmyard manure is being prepared by the departments of agriculture in 
Madras and the Central Provinces. The Agricultural Department in 
Bengal, following the valuable lead given by Rothamsted, has attempted 
the manufacture of artificial farmyard manure on a considerable scale. 
Cattle urine and washings from cattle sheds, mixed with bonemeal, 
have been used with immediate success. Weeds, various grasses, sugar- 
cane trash, refuse, etraw, prickly-pear, etc., have all proved capable of 
breaking down into excellent material approximating more or less closely 
in appearance and in composition to that of cowdung. Experiments 
have also been made in Burma but have not so far proved successful. 
Valuable work on the preparation of composts from night soil and refuse 
and from cattle urine, weeds, etc., is being done by Dr. Fowled at 
Cawnpore. In Europe, work of this character has now emerged from 
the experimental stage and processes devised for dealing with various 
classes of materials are already on the market. In India, however, 
the departments concerned have still to devise and introduce a 
practical method which oan be used with profit by the ordinary cultivator 
on his land. 

The manurial value of earth obtained from the sites of abandoned 
villages is recognised in many parts of India. The quantities available 
are, however, negligible in relation to the manurial requirements of the 

84. Prejudice against the use of night soil has deterred the 
cultivator in India from utilising to the best 
(c) IQHT SOIL. advantage a valuable source of combined nitrogen. 
There is, however, evidence that this prejudice is weakening and that, 
where night soil is available in the form of poudrette, it is tending to dis- 
appear. From the point of view of public health, the use of poudrette is 
preferable to that of crude night soil and, given co-operation between 
agricultural departments and municipal authorities, there is hope that the 
manufacture of poudrette should prove profitable to municipalities 
and beneficial to the cultivators in their neighbourhood. The methods 
of converting night soil into poudrette adopted at Nasik and elsewhere in 
the Bombay Presidency have been highly successful and appear well 
worth study by other municipalities. The advantages of this system of 
dealing with night soil appear to us to justify a recommendation that the 
departments of local self-government in all provinces should bring them 
to the notice of all municipal authorities and should also take steps to 


establish a centre at which members of the municipal sanitary staffs 
can receive a suitable training in this method of disposing of night 
soil. The agricultural departments should keep a watchful eye on all 
experiments in the conversion of night soil into manure and should them- 
selves conduct such experiments. Where municipal authorities in 
any part of the country are in a position to supply it, the agricultural 
departments should assist them to find a market by arranging demon- 
strations of the value of night soil as manure on plots in the neighbourhood 
of the towns. 

Another way in which night soil can be converted into a form in which 
its use is less obnoxious to the cultivator is by the adoption of the 
activatej-^sludg^jpiocess. This process reduces sewage, by the passage 
of air through it, to a product which can either be used as required in the 
form of effluent from the sewage tanks or dried and sent where there is 
a demand for it. The activated sludge process is suitable only for towns 
which have a sewage system. It is much more expensive than conver- 
sion into poudrette but has the advantage of conserving a larger percent- 
age of nitrogen. Up to the present, this system has been adopted in 
India on any considerable scale only at Tatanagar. The possibility of 
selling the product at a price that would yield a fair return on the cost 
of manufacture must depend upon local circumstances. Each ca?e 
must be decided upon its merits, after a careful survey of all the relevant 
factors, including the local market for the product. In estimating the 
cost of the necessary plant, due regard should be paid to the cost which 
woi Id be invc Ived in installing any alternative methcd of sewage disposal, 
and, if it should prove possible to place a valuable fertiliser at the disposal 
of the cultivators at a price they can afford to pay, without risk of 
imposing any additional net charge upon the local rate-payers, we think 
that it is in the public interest that such schemes should be adopted. 

85. Another indigenous source of combined nitrogen to which 

increasing attention is now being paid by the 
Id} LEGUMINOUS -1,11 , r T -, 

CHOPS. agricultural departments m India, is leguminous 

crops and green manures. The value of leguminous 
crops in his rotation has always been recognised by the cultivator and the 
work before the agricultural departments in regard to these crops lies 
not so much in popularising the principle of their cultivation as in 
discovering the varieties of leguminous crops best suited to increase 
the soil fertility and in recommending such varieties to the culti- 
vators. Eecent research has drawn attention to the fact that 
such crops vary greatly in their power of fixing nitrogen in the 
soil and should not be regarded as of equal value. Moreover, it is 
only when the leguminous crop is grown for green manure that, in all 
cases, the scil gains in nitrogen. Mr. Howard inetancee gram as a 
crop which improves the soil and Java indigo as a crop which seriously 
depletes the supply of combined nitrogen. 

86. The agricultural departments in India have devoted much time 

- and attention to work on green manure crops 
e) KEEN MANURES. ft y ^ w to ^g^y^jag tk e crO p S w hich can 

best be used for green manure, the time at which they should be 
grown and^the manner in which they should be applied. Their 
work has shown that sann hemp on the whole gives the best results 
and it would doubtless be more often grown for use as green manure 
were it not that it may exhaust so much of the moisture in the 
soil that, when it is ploughed in, there is not sufficient left both to 
decompose it and to enable a second crop to grow. Much 
experimental work is still, therefore, required to discover the green 
manure crops which can best be included in the cultivators' 
rotations. The economics of green manure crops from the point of 
view of the small cultivator also require to be worked out. The 
small cultivator is naturally hesitant about growing a crop which 
only indirectly brings him any financial advantage. With his slender 
resources, it is, indeed, not unreasonable for him to take the view that 
he cannot afford to sacrifice even a catch crop in this way and it is 
therefore not until the agricultural departments are in a position to 
demonstrate to him beyond a shadow of doubt the paying nature of 
green manure crops on small holdings that these departments will be 
justified in persuading the small cultivator to adopt them or that 
their advocacy of them will stand any chance of success. In the 
present state of knowledge, such crops would appear an 'expedient 
to be adopted by the larger landholder and, for the small cultivator. 
a leguminous crop in his rotation would seem to hold out better 
prospects of benefit. 

The possibility of growing such crops as dhaincha and groundnut, the 
leaves of which can be used as green manure without interfering with 
the commercial value of the crop, is worth consideration. The use of 
groundnut in this way for green manure would furnish an additional 
reason for extending the area of this valuable crop. In the case of 
crops of a woody nature such as sann hemp, it must, however, be 
remembered that their utility as green manure for the succeeding rabi 
crops depends to a large extent on the presence of sufficient moisture 
in the soil to rot the dry stems and roots. 

In Madras, the Punjab and the Central Provinces, the experiment 
has been made of encouraging the cultivation of green manure crops 
under irrigation by the remission of the charge for water from govern- 
ment sources of irrigation. The fact that the results have so far been 
disappointing may be due to a failure to accompany the remission 
with sufficient propaganda as to the advantages to be derived from 
the growing of these crops. We think that the continuance of the 
concession and its extension to other areas should be conditional on its 
being accompanied by an active campaign of propaganda, directed 
particularly to the larger landholder rather than the small cultivator. 
All areas where the concession is made should be kept under regular 
examination. If, after a period of five to ten years, it should appear that 
the concession given in regard to water charges has failed to achieve 
its main purpose, it should be rescinded. 


87. The loss to India of a valuable source of combined nitrogen 

n Oi ES as ^ e resu ^ ^ ^e ex P r ^ f 8O large a proportion 

of its production of oil-seeds was emphasised by 

many witnesses before us. The yield and exports of oil-seeds during 

the last fifteen years are shown in the following Table : 

Totals by five year periods 

Cotton Ground - 
seed nut 




Total of 

of all 
oil -seeds 


' 2 3 





1910-11 to 1914-15 

Yield ('000 tons) 
Exports ('000 tons) . . 

8,419 3,475 
1,125 1,035 






Percentage of exports 
to yield 

13 30 





1015-16 to 1910-20 

Yield ('000 tons) 
Expoits ('000 tons) . . 

8,545 4,758 
387 507 






Percentage of expoits 
to yield 

4i 12 





1920-21 to 1924-25 

Yield ('000 tons) 
Exports ('000 tonb) . . 

10,733 5,786 
686 1,240 






Percentage of exports 
to yield 

6|' 21 





Total of 15 years 


1910-11 to 1924-25 

Total yield ('000 tons) 
Total exports 
("000 tons) 

27 V 697 , 14,019 
2,198 2,842 







Percentage of exports 
to yield 

8 20 





These figures indicate that, of the outturn of the seed of cotton, 
groundnut, rape and mustard, linseed and sesamum, the exports amount 
to an average of eighteen per cent and they suggest the loss which the soil 
of India suffers by the export of a valuable by-product on the assumption 

* Complete data not available. 

Note. Approximately one-third of the yield of linseed, one-half of the yield of rape 
and mustard and one -sixth of the yield of sesamum is described as highly conjectural. 

The figures for yield of cotton seed arc not shown in the " Estimates of Area and 
Yield of Principal Crops in India ", The figures shown above are based on the statistics 
of net exports and consumption of cleaned cotton (lint) on the assumption that the 
ratio of cotton seed to lint is 2 : 1. 


that the whole of the nitrogen contained might be returned to the soil. 
Under existing practice, indeed, much of this material would probably 
be fed to cattle and subsequently dissipated as fuel. But it is not sur- 
pr.ising that the view that an export tax on oil-seeds and oilcakes should 
be imposed in order to check exports and to bring oilcakes within 
the purchasing power of the cultivator has found much favour and even 
received the support of the Board of Agriculture in 1919 and of the 
majority of the Indian Taxation Enquiry Committee, but not that of 
the Indian Fiscal Commission. Some witnesses before us went further 
and urged the total prohibition of export. Whilst we fully recognise 
the advantages to Indian agriculture which would follow from a greatly 
extended use of certain oilcakes as a manure for the more valuable crops 
such as sugarcane, tobacco, cotton and tea, we cannot but feel that 
those who suggest the attainment of this object by the restriction or 
prohibition of exports have failed to realise the economic implications of 
their proposal. In the first place, it must be remembered that India has 
no monopoly of the world's supplies of oil- seeds and is not even the 
chief supplier of those seeds. The world's linseed market is controlled by 
the Argentine crop and the sesamum market by the Chinese crop. The 
competition of West Africa in the supply of edible oils is becoming 
increasingly serious. In these circumstances, it is an economic axiom 
that an export duty will be borne by the producer and that the 
cultivator will, therefore, receive a lower price for the oil- seeds 
exported. The acreage under oil- seeds in British India is still con- 
siderably below the pre-war figure and the tendency to replace 
oil-seeds by other crops which may be inferred from this would 
undoubtedly be greatly accentuated if any effective restrictions on 
export were imposed. The immediate fall in price, which would result 
from such restrictions, would tend to a reduction of area and conse- 
quently of outturn. Even if such a fall in prices were obtained by 
the method advocated, the gain to the cultivator qud consumer would 
be far more than counterbalanced by the disadvantage to 1he 
cultivator qud grower by the loss of the income he at present derives 
from his export market. In the second place, it may be argued that 
if the Indian oil-crushing industry were fully developed to deal with the 
present outturn of oil-seeds, then the area might remain at its present 
level and there would grow up a considerable export of oil, while the 
cake would remain to be used as a feeding stuff or manure. The 
market for oil in this country is, however, a very limited one and will 
remain so until India has reached a more advanced stage of industrial 
development. The oil-crushing industry would, therefore, have to 
depend mainly on the export market for the sale of its main product. 
The problem of cheap and efficient transport to the great industrial 
centres of the West presents almost insurmountable difficulties. 
Oil-crushers in India would find themselves in competition with a 
well established and highly efficient industry and there is little reason to 
believe that their costs of production or the quality of their product 
would enable them to compete successfully with that industry. In the 
third place, even if restriction on exports succeeded in reducing the 


price of oilcakes, this would mean that a section of the agricultural 
community would be penalised for the benefit of another and much 
smaller section, for the growers of oil-seeds would probably not be 
those who would make the most use of the oilcakes. 

A similar line of reasoning applies to oilcakes, the average exports 
of which from India for the five years ending 1925-26 were 165,600 tons 
against a negligible import. The oilcakes exported from India are a 
far less important factor in the world's supply than are the oil-seeds 
and, in these circumstances, the burden of the duty would be entirely 
borne by the producer, in this case the oil-crushing industry. There 
can, in our view, be little doubt that the effect of a duty on oilcakes, 
with or without a duty on oil-seeds, would be the curtailment 
of oil -crushing activities and a diminution in' the available supply 
of oil-cakes, in other words, it would have effects entirely different 
from those desired by its advocates. It is not, therefore, by any 
restriction on trade that Indian agriculture is likely to reap greater advant- 
ages from the supply of combined nitrogen available in the large crops 
of oil-seeds she produces. The only methods by which these advantages 
can be secured are by the natural development of the oil-crushing 
industry coupled with great changes in cattle management and in the 
use of fuel. The question ho\y far the development of the industry 
can be prorated by Government assistance in the matter of overcoming 
difficulties of transport and in the form o technological Sdvice in regard 
to improved methods of manufacture and 'standardisation is one for 
the departments of industries rather than the departments of agriculture. 
An extension of the -oil-crushing industry would undoubtedly tend to 
promote the welfare of Indian agriculture and wo would commend 
the investigation of its possibilities to the earnest consideration of all 
"local governments. 

88. The important potential sources of supply of combined nitrogen 
^ discussed in the preceding' paragraphs are supple- 

AM^N H IA F mented to * small though increasing extent by 
the sulphate of ammonia recovered as a by-product 
from coal at the Tata Iron and Steel Company'* works at Jamshedpur 
and on the coal- fields of Bengal and Bihar and Orissa. There has been 
a very marked increase both in the consumption and production of 
this fertiliser in India in recent years. Of the 4,436 tons produced 
in 1919, all but 472 tons were exported and there were no imports. 
In 1925, of the estimated production of 14,771 tons, 6,395 tons were 
retained in India. With three exceptions, all the producers of sulphate 
of ammonia in India have joined the British Sulphate of Ammonia 
Federation which, through its Indian agents, is conducting active 
propaganda to promote the use of artificial fertilisers and has established 
a number of local agencies in agricultural areas in several provinces. 
The manner in which this source of supply is being developed is very 
satisfactory and it is still more satisfactory that a market for increasing 
quantities of the sulphate of ammonia produced in India is being found 
in the country. The importance of the price factor need hardly be 
stressed for though the present average price of Rs. 140 per ton free on 


rail at Calcutta is much lower than that which prevailed immediately 
after the war, it is sufficiently high to preclude the application of 
sulphate of ammonia to any except the most valuable of the cultivators' 
crops such as sugarcane or garden crops. 

89. A method of increasing the internal supplies of combined 
nitrogen in India, the adoption of which has received 

(h) ARTIFICIAL powerful support, is the establishment of synthetic 
IS^fs^B-s 8 processes for obtaining combined nitrogen from the 
air in forms suitable for use as fertilisers. The Indian 
Sugar Committee was of opinion that, from the point of view of the 
development of the sugar industry alone, the successful introduction of 
synthetic processes in India was a matter of the first importance. That 
committee recommended that the possibilities of utilising the hydro- 
electric schemes, which were at that time under investigation in the 
Punjab and the United Provinces, for the fixation of nitrogen 
thoroughly examined and that^ were found that electric energy could 
be obtained at a rate approximating to Ks. 60 per kilowatt year, a unit 
plant of sufficient size to afford trustworthy information should be 
installed. Of the three processes in use for the fixation of atmospheric 
nitrogen, the arc process, the cyanamide process and the manufacture 
of ammonia by direct synthesis, the committee considered the 
cyanamide process as the one which offered the best prospects of success 
in India but drew attention to the possibilities of the Haber process 
for obtaining synthetic sulphate of ammonia. 

The position has changed greatly since the report of the Sugar Com- 
mittee was written. The full effects of the diversion of the capital, 
enterprise and, above all, the research devoted to the manufacture of 
munitions to the production of peace-time requirements had not been 
felt in 1920. Since then, it has resulted in a fall in the world's price of 
nitrogen by fifty per cent and there are prospects of still lower prices in 
the near future. We see no reason to question the view which was 
placed before us in the course of the evidence we took in London that, 
in present circumstances, only very large units with a minimum capacity 
of about 150,000 tons of pure nitrogen per annum can be expected to pay 
even under the most favourable conditions in Great Britain and on the 
Continent of Europe and that conditions in India make it much less 
likely that even a unit of that capacity would prove a paying proposition. 
The possibilities of manufacturing nitrogen from the air in India have 
already been exhaustively examined by a leading firm of chemical 
manufacturers in England which has decided against proceeding with the 
project. It is probable that no factory on a scale which could be contem- 
plated by any local government, or even by the Imperial Government, 
would be in a position to produce synthetic nitrogenous fertilisers at 
a price less than that at which they can be imported. The whole object 
of establishing such a factory, that of producing fertilisers at a price 
which would place them within the reach of a far greater proportion of 
the agricultural community than is at present in a position to use them, 
would be defeated if a protective duty were imposed to enable its outturn 


to compete against imported supplies. It is also to be hoped that 
should the demand for artificial fertilisers in India make it worth while, 
private enterprise will come forward to erect synthetic nitrogen works 
in this country. While the economics of the industry remain as they 
stand to-day, we are unable to recommend any further investigation 
into the subject under government auspices. 

90. The discussion of the question of nitrogenous fertilisers would 
I not be complete without mention of the proposal 

CENTRAL ORQANISA- placed before us by the British Sulphate I <5f 
ONFEE^SE^ 11011 Ammonia Federation, Ltd., and Nitram, Ltd., for 
the establishment by the Government of India of a 
central fertiliser organisation on which the Imperial and provincial 
agricultural departments as well as the important fertiliser interests 
would be represented. The two companies, which are "already spending 
23,000 annually on research and propaganda in India, expressed their 
wiD in guess to increase this amount to 50.0^0^ the additional amount to 
be handed over to a central organisation constituted in the manner 
they suggest, provided that an equal sum is contributed by Government. 
The. companies have made it clear that the research and propaganda 
they contemplate would be on the use of fertilisers generally and would 
not in any way be confined to that of the products they manufacture 
or sell. This offer, though not disinterested, is undoubtedly generous 
and we have given it our most careful consideration. We regret, 
however, that we are unable to see our way to recommend its acceptance. 
We cannot but feel that, whatever safeguards were imposed, the work 
of, and the advice given by, an organisation, ab least half the cost of 
which was borne by firms closely interested in the subject-matter of 
the investigation, would be suspect and would thus be deprived of 
much of its usefulness, especially since, as we have pointed out, the 
agricultural departments in India are not yet iai a position to pronounce 
authoritatively on the relative advantages of natural and artificial 
fertilisers. We, therefore, consider it preferable that the agricultural 
departments should remain entirely independent in this matter but AVO 
need hardly say that we would welcome the ostablishment by the two 
firms mentioned, or by any other fertiliser firms, of their own research 
stations in India working in the fullest co-operation with the agricultural 
departments, the Indian Tea Association, the Indian Central Cotton 
Committee and any other bodies interested in the fertiliser question. 
So much work remains to be done on the manurial problems of India 
that it is desirable that every possible agency should be employed on 
it. To the supply by the fertiliser interests of free samples for trial by 
the agricultural departments there can, of course, be no objection but we 
do not consider that any financial assistance beyond what is involved 
in this should be accepted. In coming to this conclusion, we have not 
overlooked the fact that the Rothamsted Experimental Station accepts 
grants from fertiliser interests to meet the cost of experiments with 
their products. Rothamsted is not, however, a government institution 
and, further, the experiments it carries out are only undertaken 
on the clear understanding that the information obtained is not to be 


used for purposes of propaganda. The conditions at Eothamsted 
are thus entirely different from those under which it is proposed that 
the central fertiliser organisation in India should function. 

91. Nitrogen deficiency can be remedied to some extent by the 
application of bones and bone meal. {This form of 
ND B NE fertiliser i s however, of greater value as a 
means of rectifying the deficiency of phosphates 
which, as we have pointed out, is more prominent in peninsular India 
and Lower Burma than that of nitrogen^ As with other forms 
of combined nitrogen, an important quantify of this fertiliser isJasjb to 
India by a failure to apply it to the soil and bv^e^poEt^- Except in the 
war period, the total export of bones from India has shown little 
variation in the last twenty years. The average exports for the five 
years onding 1914-15 were 90,452 tons valued at Rs. 64*20 lakhs. 
For the five years ending 1924-25, they were 87,881 tons valued at 
Rs. 95*94 lakhs. In 1925-26, they were 84,297 tons valued at 
Rs. 89 16 lakhs and in 1920-27 100,005 tons valued at Rs. 97 76 lakhs. 
Tho imports of bone manures are negligible. (Practically the whole 
of the exports are in the form of the manufactured product,) that 
is, in the form of crushed bones or of bone meal, the highest 
figure for the export of uncrushed bones in recent years being 545 tons 
in 1924-25. Only a very small proportion of the bone manure manu- 
factured in India is consumed in the country. During the war period, 
when prices were low, freight space difficult to obtain and export demand 
weak, it was estimated that not more than t^n pqr ^t of the total 
production was consumed in India and this at a time when the prices 
of all Indian agricultural produce were exceptionally high. Enquiries we 
have made show that there is no reason to believe that the percentage 
retained for internal consumption has increased since the close of the war. 
Many witnesses before us advocated that the heavy drain of phosphates 
involved in the large export of bones from this country should be ended 
by the total prohibition of exports and this proposal received the support 
of the Board of Agriculture in 1919, whilst the majority of the Indian 
Taxation Enquiry Committee recommended the imposition of an export 
duty. For much the same reasons as those for which we have rejected 
the proposal for an export duty on oil-seeds and oilcakes, we are unable 
to support this recommendation. As was pointed out by the Board of 
Agriculture in 1922, local consumption, even in the most favourable 
conditions in recent years, has accounted for such a small fraction of the 
total production that the industry could not continue to exist on that 
fraction, and the imposition of an export duty would involve a serious 
danger of its extinction through the closing down of its markets. 
Further, any restrictions on export would deprive one of the 
poorest sections of the population of a source of income of which it 
stands badly in need. 

[For slow-growing crops such as fruit trees the rough crushing of bones 
is sufficient, but for other crops fine grinding is required. The crushing 
mills are at present located almost entirely at the ports and, in order to 


get bone manures to the cultivator, the establishment of small bone- 
crushing factories at up-country centres where sufficient supplies of 
bones are available has been advocated.^ A far more thorough 
investigation of the economics of the bone-crushing industry than 
has yet been carried out is, we consider, required before the 
establishment of such mills can safely be undertaken by private 
enterprise. The first essential is to obtain- definite data in regard 
to the price at which, and the crops for which, the use of bone meal is 
advantageous to the cultivator. We suggest that the agricultural 
departments should take early steps to collect these data. The depart- 
ment of Government responsible should also investigate the cost of 
processing bones with special reference to those districts in which the 
development of hydro-electric schemes gives promise of a supply of cheap 
power. It should then be a comparatively easy matter to determine 
whether the level of prices is such as to justify any attempts on the part 
of Government to interest private, or preferably co-operative, enterprise 
in the establishment of bone-crushing mills in suitable centres. In 
determining the level of prices, allowance should be made for the 
advantage which local mills will enjoy in competition for local custom 
with the large units at the ports through the saving to the local concerns 
of the two-way transportation charges borne by the product of the 
port mills. 

92. Little need bo said about fish manures which are another source 

of supply of both phosphates and nitrogen. The 
export of these from India for the hve years 
ending 1925-20 averaged 16,774 tons valued at Es. 19 '94 lakhs. 
In 1926-27, only 7,404 tons were exported valued at Rs. 9*21 lakhs. 
Except for a negligible export from Bombay and Sind, the exports 
of fish manures are confined to the west coast of Madras and parts 
of Burma. 

The arguments against the prohibition of the export of bones or for 
the imposition of an export duty apply equally to fish manures. Any 
restriction of export would involve most serious hardship on the small 
and impoverished fishing commuiuties-of the two provinces, and cannot, 
therefore, be justified. "TEe only measures which can be undertaken 
bo lessen the export of fish manures, without damage to the fish- 
oil industry or the curtailment of the amount of fish caught, are 
measures to establish that such manures can be profitably used for 
Indian agriculture at the price obtained for them in the export market. 

93. Reference should be made here to the extensive deposits of 

natural phosphates which are to be found in the 
Trichinopoly district_ol Madras and in -South 
BiEarT In neither tract do these phosphates 
exist in a form in^wKich they can be utilised economically for the 
manufacture of superphosphate ; and their employment in agricul- 
ture has been limited to applications of the crude material in 
pulverised form. This source of supply does not offer any important 


94. The question whether legislation against the adulteration of 
fertilisers on the lines of the British Fertilisers 
LEGISLATION ajl d Foodstuffs Act, 1926, is necessary requires 

noxowvwMsm*. consideration. The sale of artificial fertilisers in 
India is still confined in the main to a few firms of 
high reputation who sell under guarantee and usually deal direct with 
the actual consumer. The opportunities for adulteration are 
thus rare and we have received no evidence of its existence apart 
from certain complaints in Bengal regarding the adulteration of 
oilcakes. Wo recognise that the absence of complaints, except in 
this one instance, is no evidence that adulteration does not exist. 
That a certain amount of adulteration does exist in the case of 
fertilisers supplied through local bazaars to small cultivators is, in 
fact, probable. All that can be said is that the practice does not 
at present exist on any considerable scale. The witnesses who 
appeared before us were not agreed as to the desirability of legisla- 
tion, and we ourselves are not satisfied that legislation at the present 
time is either desirable or practicable. Legislation of this kind, 
unless strictly enforced, is demoralising. Personnel with the neces- 
sary qualifications to make the inspection efficient throughout the 
country would be difficult to obtain and expenditure would have 
to be incurred on a scale which the present sale of fertilisers could 
scarcely justify. Our general conclusion is that it will be sufficient 
for the present if all the agricultural departments keep a close watch 
on the quality of the fertilisers in common use and subject samples 
of them to frequent analysis by their agricultural chemists. Should 
tho trade in fertilisers develop sufficiently to attract the attention 
of the middleman or should analysis show that even, in existing 
conditions, adulteration is at all common, the question of legislation 
should be reconsidered. 

95. It was suggested that it would assist in popularising the 

use of fertilisers if the railway rates on them 
RAILWAY RATES ON were ret [uced. \\r e ar6j therefore, glad to notice 

that material reductions in the rates for the carriage 
of oilcakes arid manures generally are being made on the State railways. 
We trust that similar reductions will be made on company-managed 
railways. Any considerable increase in the crop yield as a result of 
the use of such manures and for such use price is often the limiting 
factor must eventually lead to an increase in traffic and thus benefit 
the railways concerned. The railway authorities should, therefore, 
constantly review the possibilities of giving still further concessions in 
regard to the transport of fertilisers. 

96. In no respect has the readiness of the cultivator to accept 

an improvement the value of which has been 
demonstrated to him been clearer than in his adoption 
of improved varieties of crops. The figures for the 
() THE PRESENT areas under improved varieties introduced by the 
POSITION. agricultural departments which are given below 

have been extracted from the Review of Agricultural Operations in 


India for 1926-27. They do not, however, do^full justice to the work on 
crop improvement which has been done by the departments as the 
selected varieties of certain crops such as wheat and cotton are now 
so generally grown in soma provinces that the departmental statistics 
are no longer a true representation of the extent to which they have 





Area under 

Percentage to 

Area under Percentage to 


total area of 





varieties total area of 

1 ci op 


(Thousands of 

(Thousands ot > 








Whoat . . 



2,84 11*9 






Jute . . 336 







380, , 10-3 

Sugarcane* 172 


;>08 7-2 

Gram . . 100 




Juar . . 75 




Barley . . 21 




Other crops 



Every cotton-growing province has its own improved varieties, the 
most widely spread of which arc the strain of American cotton known as 
4F in the Punjab, Company Cotton and Hagari 25 in Madras and 1027 
A. L. F. in Bombay. The agricultural departments have been especially 
successful in the isolation of heavy yielding rust resistant wheats of good 
milling and baking qualities both for home consumption and for export. 
The Pusa No. 4 and Pusa No. 12 wheats are to be found in every wheat- 
growing tract in India, though Punjab 11 and Punjab 8 A have proved more 
suitable for the greater part of the wheat-growing area of the Punjab.* 
Some 146,000 aores are under various strains of improved rice in Madras 
whilst the indrasail, dudshar and katakfara varieties cover some 139,000 
acres in Bongal. Practically the whole of the area under improved 
varieties of jute is in the latter province, where it is estimated that over 
500,000 acres, that is about fifteen per cent of the total area under jute, 
now grows the two heavy yielding types known as Capsularis D154 and 
Olitorius green Chinsura which were originally isolated on the Dacca farm. 
As was to bo expocted from the fact that nearly half the total area under 
sugarcane in India is in the United Provinces, the greater part of the 
acreage under improved varieties of cane is in that province, in which 
varieties either evolved at the Sugarcane Station at Coimbatore or 

* Of the total area under wheat in the two provinces of the Punjab and the United 
Provinces, which are the ehief wheat producing provinces, between 13 and 14 per cent 
was under improved varieties in 1926-27. 


imported originally from Java or Mauritius are now grown on about 
1<05,000 acres. The Coimbatore varieties are also making steady 
progress in the Punjab and in Bihar and Orissa. Of the " other crops " 
included in the Table given above, the most important is groundnut, 
early maturing varieties of which are grown on 291,000 acres in 
Bombay. The Bombay figures furnish a remarkable illustration of the 
readiness with which the cultivator takes to a crop of the financial 
possibilities of which ho is satisfied. The total area under groundnut in 
Khandoshand northern Gujarat in 1912-13 was only 4,500 acres. In 
1926-27. it was 310,000 acres. Improved varieties of gram now cover a 
considerable acreage in the United Provinces and Burma. 

97. Considerable as have been the achievements of the agricultural 
departments in India in introducing improved 
(it) UTURBWORK. var i e f;j es o f crops, the percentages given in the 
Table above are in themselves sufficient to show that there is still 
a vast field for further work in this direction. Much remains to be 
done even in respect of crops such as cotton, jute and wheat where 
the success of the departments has been most marked. . We received 
evidence, for example, which showed that the 4F variety of American 
cotton, which is now grown on approximately one million acres 
in the Punjab, is undergoing deterioration, apart from the effect on , the 
quality of the crop produced by the mixing in the ginneries of 
African cotton with the indigenous short-stapled varieties. There 
appeared to be some difference of opinion as to whether the deterioration 
is merely temporary and due to the passing effect of unfavourable seasons 
or whether it is permanent and has resulted from cross fertilisation in 
the field between plants which have diverged from the original type 
selected and from the continued renewal of the seed supply from 
contaminated sources. In this case, seasonal influences have no 
doubt been at work ; but experience elsewhere renders the latter 
explanation a probable one. The falling off in the quality of the 
4F variety is only one example of the well-known need for 
reselection that arises in most forms of crop improvement work. It 
shows how essential it is that the agricultural departments should be 
ready either to undertake the difficult and tedious process of eradicating 
deterioration once it has appeared in a crop or to replace the 
deteriorated strain by another. ' 

The agricultural departments are still at the beginning of the work of 
improving some of the most important crops grown in India such as the 
millets, of which juar, the acreage under which is only exceeded by 
that under rice and wheat, is the most extensively grown. Oil-seeds 
are another class of crop on which some work has been done but no 
striking progress has to be recorded. The comparative neglect of the 
millets is especially to be regretted in view of the prominence of these 
grains in the diet of a large section of the population throughout penin- 
sular India and of the fact that they are so largely grown in tracts which 
are liable to famine. It is the cultivators in such tracts who stand most 
in need of all the help that improved varieties can give them. This neglect 
has undoubtedly been due to the complicated nature of the problem 


which arises from the natural pollination which takes place in the field 
and which makes it very difficult to keep a pure line uncontaminated. 

The worjj: of crop improvement cannot, even in the most favourable 
circumstances, give very rapid results. The shortest period required 
for a plant breeder to evolve a new strain by hybridisation up to 
the point at which it can safely be given out to the cultivator ia 
usually placed at seven years, and success in so short a time is 
only to be anticipated when working with plants to which no breedei* 
has hitherto given attention. When the further improvement of 
crops, which, through some process of selection, have reached a high 
standard of quality, is in question, twice the period of seven years may 
be required. When the agricultural departments were reorganised, it 
was natural that they should desire to establish their reputation as 
rapidly as possible and that, to this end, they should first take up work 
on crops which offered the best prospects of giving comparatively speedy 
results. By the time that they were in a position to give a gredter 
measure of their attention to other crops, their work was interrupted by 
war conditions. We are, however, of opinion that the time has now 
come when the departments of agriculture should devote an increasing 
share of time and attention to the production of improved strains of 
millets, pulses and oil-seeds. 

Sufficient has perhaps been said to indicate the extent of the work 
which still lies before the agricultural departments in India in regard to 
crop improvement. There are ,tree methods of obtaining varieties 
which are superior to those O3$fhirily grown either in respect of yield, 
quality or suitability to special conditions of environment. These 
are selection, hybridisation and acclimatisation. The last of these is 
discussed in the following paragraph. The work of selection is based 
on a systematic examination of the forms met with in the various 
tracts and their classification, into types. The next step consists in 
raising pure lines and making a comparative study of the selected 
types. The successive elimination of inferior types follows until only 
a small number of promising types remain, from which a final selection 
is made for trial in the conditions under which the crop is ordinarily 
grown by the cultivator. In the hybridisation process, pure lines of 
selected types are crossed in order to bring about new combinations 
of useful characters in the offspring. Of these two methods, selection 
and hybridisation, there can be no doubt that selection offers the 
readiest mtans of effecting improvement in Indian conditions, and it is 
by this method that the greatest successes of the agricultural depart- 
ments, except in regard to wheat and sugarcane, have been obtained. 
Hybridisation is a much slower process than selection and requires 
greater scientific experience and a higher level of scientific aptitude. 
Sooner or later, of course, there comes a point when the plant breeder 
may be forced to resoft to hybridisation if any progress is to be secured. 
We are, however, of opinion that the plant breeder in India will, in 
general, be well advised to adhere to the selection method until its 
possibilities for a number of the crops we have referred to have been much 
more nearly exhausted than is at present the case and that hybridisation 

MO Y*286 7 


should only be undertaken, by officers who, in addition to special training, 
have had the experience of Indian crops and conditions which is necessary 
for successful work. The work of crop selection in India is, on the 
whole, well done and the agricultural departments, in our view, have 
but little to learn in regard to the technique of this branch of its 
work, though in many cases an increase in the amount of systematic 
work is desirable. 

98. There has been a tendency in recent years on the part of most 

provincial departments, which has been accentuated 

Committee, to appoint specialists for work on 
particular crops. A number of specialists are now engaged on work 
on cotton, Madras has a millets and a paddy specialist, the Punjab a 
specialist on cereals to mention only a few examples. We recognise the 
importance of specialisation ; the improvement of one important crop 
such as cotton may indeed call for the combined efforts of a number of 
specialists. But we received evidence from scientists in England to which 
we attach great weight, which went to show that specialisation is not 
without disadvantages. It was urged that work on a particular crop 
woiild, in all probability, prove of greater value if it were combined with 
work on another entirely different crop of secondary importance. An 
expert working on cotton would, for example, gain in freshness and 
preserve a broader botanical and biological outlook if he were to 
combine his work on cotton with work on some other crop which enters 
into the rotation with it. We commend this view to the attention of 
those responsible for the administration of the agricultural departments 
in India. 

99. The agricultural departments in India have a fund of experience 

on which to draw in regard to the possibilities of the 
OF successful introduction of crops which are entirely 

new to India or new to particular parts of it. Until 
scientific agriculture had made some progress in India in the later 
decades of the nineteenth century, the intioduction of exotic varieties 
was regarded as the shortest road to general agricultural improvement. 
To it the Directors of the East India Company pinned their faith, as 
the very illuminating history of hhe twelve American planters who 
were sent to India in 1839 to grow American cotton, to which reference 
has been made in Chapter II, bears witness. But as we have mentioned in 
that chapter, the spasmodic and unsystematic efforts of this kind produced 
little in the way of tangible results. Even after they were completely 
reorganised in 1905, the agricultural departments were unable to shake 
themselves entirely free from the ideas of previous seekers after agricul- 
tural improvement and, for some years, a disproportionate share of their 
time and energies and of the space available on their agricultural stations 
was devoted to experiments with exotics. That the introduction of new 
crops offers abundant possibilities has been amply demonstrated not only 
by experience in the United States of America and in Australia, in which 
country there is no paying crop which is indigenous to the soil, but also by 
experience in India itself. Dr. Voelcker gives a long list of crops now 


commonly grown in India which must originally have been imported. 
This list includes various millets, maize, tobacco, tea (which, however, 
was subsequently found and cultivated in India), Dharwar- American 
cotton, potatoes and many other vegetables. An example of more 
recent date and of greater relevance in the present connection is 
furnished by Cambodia cotton, an American type, the seed of which 
was obtained direct from Cambodia in 1905, by Mr. C. Benson, then 
Deputy Director of Agriculture in Madras. This is now the most 
important variety of cotton grown in Madras, both in acreage 
and outturn and also in length of staple. The successful cultivation 
of dates in the Punjab also deserves mention. The spread of 
groundnut to parts of Bombay, to Bundelkhand, Orissa, Sind, the 
Central Provinces, and the dry zone of Burma is perhaps the best 
example in recent years of the extension to new parts of India 
of a crop already grown in other parts of the country, but other 
examples are to be found in the cultivation of potatoes in the Punjab 
and Assam and of oil-seeds in Sind. It is obviously not possible for us 
to indicate in any detail the direction in which further experiments 
with new varieties should be made but we would mention Australian 
bajra, white seeded maize, American tobacco, grasses and Egyptian 
clover (berseem), especially if it is found that seed can be produced 
cheaply and on a large scale in India, as crops the possibilities of which 
deserve further investigation. At the same time, we desire to emphasise 
that work on exotics should, in no circumstances, take precedence of 
work on crops already grown in India. No importation orl'ers a reason- 
able prospect of success unless it is made after a careful study of the 
environmental conditions in the country of origin and a comparison of 
those conditions with the conditions under which the crop would be 
grown in India. The early experiments with exotics were a failure 
because the necessity for such a study and examination was not realised ; 
but, even when such experiments prove successful, it must be recognised 
that the element of chance enters largely into the problem. Whilst one 
lucky shot with an exotic may prove more than ample compensation 
for very many failures, work on the improvement of crops already grown, 
though more laborious, is in the nature of things far more likely on 
balance to yield results of substantial value and should, therefore, 
always take precedence in the estimation of the agricultural departments. 

A small measure of encouragement to experiments with exotic crops 
would be given if seeds, seedling plants and cuttings were exempted 
from the fifteen per cent duty which is at present levied. Rubber seeds 
are the only seeds which are specifically exempt from this duty though 
grain and pulse, in so far as they are imported for seed purposes, are 
covered by the general exemption which applies to that class of produce. 
We recommend that the concession given to rubber stumps and seeds 
should be extended tc all seeds, seedling plants and cuttings of exotic 
species and of exotic varieties of indigenous species imported for 
experimental sowing or planting. We understand that the loss of 
revenue involved in the grant of this concession would be very small. 
MO Y 2gO- 7a 


100, Whilst there can be no finality in the work of crop improve- 
ment in India, and whilst it is important that 
agricultural departments should constantly have 
new varieties to put out to replace varieties 
which have degenerated, we consider it advisable to utter a word 
of warning against undue multiplication of the new varieties which 
are offered to the cultivator. We have given examples which show 
how readily the cultivator takes to an improved variety, of the extra 
financial return of which he has been convinced. The conservatism 
which has so commonly been attributed to him with some measure 
of justice has been overcome in this respect to a greater extent 
than in regard to any other branch of his agricultural practice. But 
it would be unsafe to assume that it no longer exists or that it will not 
again come into play if improved varieties are thrust upon him in too 
rapid succession. We consider it very desirable, therefore, that, except 
in the case of crops, such as sugarcane and potatoes, which are apt to 
degenerate rapidly unless frequent changes of seed are made, no new 
variety should be put out unless it has been thoroughly well established 
that it possesses a marked advantage over those already grown in 
respect either of yield, quality, or suitability to special environmental 
conditions. We do not feel called upon to indicate to which of these 
advantages most importance should be attached. The problem is 
one which can only be decided in the light of the local conditions and 
the solution will necessarily vary with the crop and with the trend of 
the market for it. It is impossible, therefore, to lay down any general 
principles. All that need be said is that, as the cultivator desires 
a higher financial return for his labour, he is more attracted by 
a crop which will give a higher yield without any counterbalancing 
increase in cost of cultivation than by a crop of better quality. 
This is especially the case in Indian conditions, in which the 
problem of securing to the grower the additional price to which the 
superior quality of his crop entitles him has always been one of great 
difficulty. We have dealt with this question in our chapter on 
Communications and Marketing and do not, therefore, propose to discuss 
it further here. 

Whilst due consideration must be paid to the preference on the part 
of the grower for a higher yielding variety over one of better quality, 
circumstances may arise in which it may be desirable that the agricultural 
departments should take a longer view of what is required in the best 
interests of the cultivator. Attention to quality may, in the long run, 
prove more profitable to him than attention to" yield. We have 
in mind the case of the short staple cotton known as rosenm in the 
Central Provinces and Berar. This cotton, the staple of which is 
only four-eighths to five-eighths of an inch, is still the most paying 
variety of cotton the cultivator in those provinces can grow on land free 
from wilt disease, and its introduction has, during the last fifteen years, 
brought many erodes of increased income to the cultivator. But there . 
are now indications that a cotton of better quality, which will yet yield 
the grower a profitable return, is required owing to the tendency of the 


mills in India and Japan to spin yarn of finer counts. We would add 
that the Agricultural Department in the Central Provinces is fully alive 
to the signs of change in the position and that there is every reason to 
believe that, when the time conies to replace roseum by cotton of longer 
staple, suitable types of the latter will be available. The past and the 
probable future history of roseum shows how essential it is that the 
agricultural departments should keep in the closest touch with the trend 
of the world's markets and should frame their policy in regard to plant- 
breeding accordingly. 

One point regarding the introduction of varieties suited to special 
local conditions, such as wilt-resistant cotton, rust-resistant wheat and 
drought-resistant bajra, may conveniently be mentioned here. It is 
not sufficient merely to diroct the cultivator's attention to these varieties. 
It is necessary to demonstrate to him on his own fields that his losses 
from the special factors which have hitherto reduced his crop-yield can 
be considerably lessened, if not entirely eliminated, by the cultivation 
of a variety which has boon found more suited to the peculiar conditions 
of the locality. 

The agricultural departments in India are now so well aware of the 
disappointments which may ensue unless an improved variety is 
thoroughly tested in the conditions under which, it would be grown 
by the cultivator, boforo it is given out on a fiold scale, that it is 
unnecessary to stress the importance of such tests. We are of opinion, 
however, that tests of new varieties, carried out on holdings typical of 
those in the tracts for which thtf varieties are deemed suitable, 
would be of much value. An attempt should be made to demonstrate 
the value of the new variety in its place in the normal rotation of 
the cultivator over a series of years. Where arrangements for cost- 
accounting are possible, the test holdings should be conducted on a 
purely commercial basis ; they should be self-contained as regards 
both labour and draught cattle, and detailed costings of all operations 
shouldbe recorded. In this way, there would be available, after a number 
of years, a body of data bearing upon every aspect of the budget of the 
small cultivator. 

101. The work of the plant breeder in evolving improved varieties of 
DISTRIBUTION OF cr P s is obviously merely a means to an end and its 
SEED. value depends entirely on the efficiency of the link 

(i) THE PROBLEM. with the cultivator for whose benefit the improved 
variety is evolved. Not only must there be a very complete organi- 
sation for the supply of seed to the cultivator, which can be extended 
as the demand increases and which must be built up simultaneously 
with the progress of the work of the plant breeder in evolving the new 
varieties, but this organisation must also have, as one of its aims, 
the maintenance of the standard of improvement which the original 
introduction offered. If the standard is permitted to fall as the 
result of mixing in the field, deterioration due to cross fertilisation and 
similar causes, the improved variety will rapidly lose its distinctive 


qualities and fall to the level of the variety it displaced. Deterioration 
in such cases can only be prevented by continuous renewal of seed of the 
highest quality from stock. 

In no respect is the difference between agricultural conditions in India 

and in western countries more marked than in regard to seed distribution. 

In most European countries, in the British Dominions and in the U rited 

States, the distribution of new varieties of proved value is the work 

of private agency. After the preliminary stage of testing has been 

completed and a variety has established itself in commerce, the State 

takes no active part in it. Seedsmen as understood in Europe do not 

exist in India where, even if his means permitted him to do so, the 

cultivator has yet to be educated up to the payment of the premium for 

improved seed which makes the seedsman's business possible and 

profitable. In these circumstances, the only agencies for the distribution 

of improved seed in India are the agricultural departments or agencies 

such as co-operative societies working under their auspices. Should 

seed merchants ol proved integrity and enterprise be forthcoming, 

they should be encouraged by the agricultural departments, but 

the too rapid multiplication of this agency might prove a hindrance 

rather than a help to the work of the departments. The seed 

merchant in western countries derives much of his income from the 

introduction of a constant succession of new varieties, but, as we 

have already pointed out, such a succession in India would only 

tend to confuse the cultivator and to arouse his suspicion. Again, 

in Indian conditions, it would be difficult to ensure that the seed sold by 

seed merchants as departmental seed was actually that obtained from 

the department, If seed of doubtful quality were sold to the cultivator, 

as " departmental seed," this would react most unfavourably on the 

work of the agricultural departments. For a very long time to come, 

therefore, seed distribution must continue to form one of the most 

important branches of their work, and we feel that the departments 

should face the prospect of a substantial expansion of their activities in 

this direction. While we regard co-operative agency as the one offering 

the best prospects of relieving the Agricultural Department, we consider 

that use might be made of private seed agents as distinct from seed 

merchants. Seed agents would be persons on whom the Agricultural 

Department could rely, and would deal only in seed supplied by the 

department in sealed bags or packets. 

102. The efficiency of the organisation for the distribution of seed of 

improved varieties varies greatly in the different 

(i) THE I'RESKNT provinces. In all provinces, the nucleus of the orga- 

OUOAMSATIOIS. nisation is the government seed farm. In most 

provinces, the seed from these farms is used to 

stock and re-stock a number of private seed farms, the operations 

of which are supervised more or less closely by the provincial 

agricultural department. In the Central Provinces, in which the 

organisation for seed distribution is perhaps more highly developed 

than it is elsewhere, there were, in 1926-27, 3,430 wheat seed farms, 

1,368 paddy seed farms, 1,627 cotton seed farms, 501 juar seed farms 


and 1,041 groundnut seed farms. In that province, the seed multiplied 
on the private farms is sold to the grower at market rates which are, 
in all cases, above those at which the seed of ordinary varieties 
is sold, the difference between the two rates being specially marked 
in the case of cotton. In Madras and the Punjab, the Agricultural 
Department purchases at harvest time seed of the purity of which it is 
satisfied at rates which are slightly above the ruling market rate. The 
seed is either stored in departmental godowns or with agents at convenient 
centres under the supervision of the department. In the United 
Provinces, whilst much of the seed issued from the departmental farms 
and seed depots is sold on a cash basis, a large proportion of it is sold 
on a credit system which involves repayment in kind and provides 
material for wider distribution in the following year. In Bengal, 
the distribution of the seed of improved varieties of jute forms by far the 
most important part of this branch of the Agricultural Department's 
operations. The work of distribution of seed of these varieties has, for 
special reasons mainly connected with the paucity of staff, been entirely 
handed over to an agent who has undertaken full financial responsibility 
for the production and sale of the improved seed and who has been 
guaranteed against loss up to a maximum of Rs. 2 lakhs by the Indian 
Jute Mills' Association. The Agricultural Department, however, still 
retains full control over the amount of seed which is to be produced and 
scrutinises the list of growers and the amount of seed which they under- 
take to produce. It takes delivery of all the seed produced and tests 
the germinating capacity of every bag before it is handed over to the 
agent for sale at a price which is fixed departmentally at such a level 
as should, in normal conditions, allow the distributor a sufficient margin 
to cover his expenses and yield a moderate profit. This system is 
specially suited to conditions in Bengal where the river steamers 
offer unrivalled facilities for the cheap and steady distribution of seed 
from a convenient centre. 

The difficulties presented by the problem of seed distribution vary 
greatly with the nature of the crop. Wheat, rice and jute are crops for 
which self-fertilisation is the rule and crossing the exception and it is, 
therefore, comparatively easy to maintain the improved variety at the 
same level of excellence for long periods, especially if it possesses charac- 
teristics which enable it to be easily distinguished in the field. Cotton, 
tobacco and the millets, on the other hand, are crops in which cross 
fertilisation is very common and, if this occurs, it nullifies the work 
of the plant breeder. Cotton is a crop with problems of its own 
for, in addition to cross fertilisation, centralised ginning results in 
the mixing of seed of different types. Special measures have, therefore, 
to be devised to overcome this handicap. In the United Provinces, for 
example, private seed farms equipped with their own ginning machinery 
are being organised. Seed cotton (Jcapas) is also bought from selected 
cultivators and is ginned under careful departmental supervision. In 
Madras, cultivators are assisted to gin their seed cotton co-operatively, 
to sell their own lint and to benefit by the premium obtained for it. The 
Central Provinces formerly had a number of agricultural unions, about 


half of which were registered as co-operative societies. These obtained 
their stocks of seed from the union's central farm where the crop was 
grown from seed supplied by the Agricultural Department. The crop 
grown from this seed was ginned in the union's own ginnery and was then 
placed on the general seed market. This organisation which had much 
to recommend it is not as common now as it was and, though single 
farms have increased, unions have tended to decline. 

The direct operations of the agricultural departments in regard to 
seed distribution are supplemented again, in varying degree by 
other agencies. In the Punjab, there are a number of large land- 
holders in the canal colonies who co-operate with the Agricultural 
Department in the distribution of pure seed. Three of these have, 
in fact, been granted land on condition that a certain proportion of 
it is utilised for growing pure seed for the Agricultural Department. 
In the United Provinces, some assistance in seed distribution work is 
given by large zamindars, and in Bombay by the newly formed taluka 
development associations. Mention should also be made of the scheme 
which is in process of elaboration in the Central Provinces for financing 
tahsil and circle agricultural associations by a loan (taccavi) from Govern- 
ment to the extent of one lakh of rupees. The associations will get their 
seed from approved seed farmers to the amount of the loan which is 
taken up on joint security. They will lend the seed to the members on 
the condition that a quantity of seed equal to that lent plus twenty per 
cent in kind will be returned at harvest. After harvest, the associations 
will pay ten per cent of the loan plus one-tenth as interest in kind to 
Government. The seed returned by the members of the associations, 
less than that needed to pay the interest to Government, will be lent to 
them on the same terms for the following year. 

Of all the agencies for seed distribution which are not strictly depart- 
mental, the most important are co-operative agencies, from the provincial 
bank down to the primary society. In all provinces, these render an 
appreciable amount of assistance to the Agricultural Department and, in 
some provinces, the assistance is considerable. In Bombay, for example, 
the whole of the task of multiplying and distributing the seed of improved 
varieties of cotton in the southern Maratha country is in the hands of 
the co-operative cotton sale societies at Hubli and Gadag. But it has 
regretfully to be admitted that the sum total of the efforts of co-operative 
agencies in this direction has so far been disappointing. It is not easy 
to come to definite conclusions as to the reason for this. It appears to 
be partly due to the weakness of the co-operative movement on the non- 
credit side, a point which we shall discuss in greater detail when we come 
to deal with co-operation. It is also partly due to the fact that in some, 
if not in all, provinces, the relations between the agricultural and co- 
operative departments are not as close as is desirable, a point upon which 
we shall also have further observations to offer. We were told that, 
in the Punjab, the agencies for seed distribution work were offered to 
co-operative societies where they were prepared to take them up but 
that, on the whole, they did not work as satisfactorily as private agents 
who were business men with self-interest at stake and knew that they 


could be dealt with summarily in case of unsatisfactory work. In celling 
seed, co-operative societies are undoubtedly handicapped as compared 
with the agricultural departments as the latter are in a position to 
provide free storage and have other advantages. We consider that local 
governments should assist co-operative societies in making storage 

103. We think it unwise to lay down any rigid lines of policy 
to be followed by the agricultural departments 

(tit) THE POLICY TO in regar( i to 8ee( i distribution. For those crops 

BE tOLLOWKD. 1-1 f i'i* j* jl i i 

for which cross fertilisation is the rule, compactness 
of the area in which it is proposed to spread the improved variety 
is the essential requirement and it should be the aim of the depart- 
ments to make this area as wide as possible in the shortest space 
of time. For such crops, we would again stress the necessity of 
keeping up the supply of pure seed and of maintaining an organisation 
which ensures that this supply is rapidly multiplied. Compactness of 
area is not so necessary for crops which are self -fertilised. The selec- 
tion and distribution of pure seed of all crops should be controlled by the 
agricultural departments in the manner best suited to the local condi- 
tions of each tract. We would emphasise the necessity for strict control 
by the agricultural departments as this appears to have been overlooked 
to some extent in the Central Provinces. The system in vogue there is 
that the seed from the private seed farm goes direct to the grower and is 
not purchased and distributed by the department. This, as we have 
explained, may easily lead to deterioration of a crop such as cotton 
although permissible for crops such as wheat or rice. We need hardly 
stress the necessity for the greatest care in ensuring that the seed 
distributed should be pure seed of high germinating power. We are of 
opinion that a considerable increase in the number of seed farms, 
both departmental and private, is very desirable in all provinces. 
Such farms should be established as rapidly as funds and staff 
permit. We realise, however, that the establishment of farms for 
crops such as millets, pulses and oil-seeds can only proceed pari passu 
with the evolution of pure or improved strains. 

There are indications that the work of seed distribution in some pro- 
vinces has brought with it the penalties of success and that the burden 
on the agricultural departments which it involves is becoming an unduly 
heavy one. We have given reasons for thinking that it is impossible 
for the departments to look for relief to the establishment of seed mer- 
chants. An increasing interest in the distribution of pure seed on the 
part of large landholders may assist them in some provinces, but 
there can be no doubt that the agency which oilers the best prospect 
of materially lightening the load borne by the agricultural departments 
in this respect is the co-operative movement, strengthened as we trust it 
will be if the recommendations we make under the appropriate head are 
accepted. Amongst these recommendations is one that the co-operative 
departments should be given expert assistance on the agricultural side 
generally and this would, of course, apply to the distribution of seed. 


We would add that, where the work 4>f seed distribution is handed over 
to co-operative agency, this course can only prove a success if the transfer 
is made with the entire goodwill of the agricultural departments. 
There should be no question of competition between the two depart- 
ments. The price at which seed can be obtained from the agricultural 
departments should never be less where co-operative societies are working 
on a commercial basis than that at which it can be purchased from 
co-operative societies in the same tract. Other associations of cultivators, 
such as taluka development associations or agricultural associations, 
where these are well managed, could similarly be used for the work 
of seed distribution. But even where such co-operative societies and 
associations are utilised to the fullest extent, the burden on the 
agricultural departments will, as pointed out above, remain a heavy 
one. The departments will also have to face a considerable expansion 
of seed distribution work. For this reason, as also for the reason that 
the work of distribution requires to be carefully watched and that 
the frequent testing of seed for purity and germination has often to 
be made, we recommend that there should be a separate orga- 
nisation for seed distribution and seed testing in charge of a deputy 
director working under the Director of Agriculture. This officer 
should be of sufficient standing to relieve the Director of all immediate 
administrative responsibility for this work. It would be his business 
to organise distribution through ro-operative societies and other 
associations, through seed merchants wherever they are available, and 
through seed agents, as well as through the departmental staff and any 
other agencies which he may consider suitable. 

We are of opinion that, whilst the agricultural departments ought 
not to look to seed distribution work as a source of profit, the 
work has reached a stage at which it may legitimately be expected to 
pay its way. The evidence we have received shows that it is either 
entirely self-supporting or very nearly so m all provinces. It also 
shows that the demand for the seed of improved varieties could be 
more readily met if, in all provinces, grants were placed at the disposal 
of directors of agriculture for financing the purchase of seed and these 
were not subject to the rule under which receipts and expenditure 
remain in watertight compartments. Whilst the transactions must, of 
course, be subjected to audit, we are of opinion that the financial 
rules which govern them should be so framed as to admit of the 
greatest possible turnover of seed in the year as it is only by the adoption 
of this course that a new variety can spread as rapidly as is 

104. The Indian Cotton and Sugar Committees made very detailed 
ROTATIONS AND enquiries in regard to the methods of cultivation 
TILLAGE. o f cotton and sugarcane and of the crops which 

enter into the rotation with them and also in regard to the most 
suitable rotations for them. These enquiries not only resulted in a 
number of valuable recommendations but also served a most useful 
purpose in enabling the provincial agricultural departments to acquaint 
themselves with the agricultural practices in other provinces. Our 


terms of reference are so much wider than those of the Cotton and 
Sugar Committees, and the ground we had to cover in a limited time was 
so great, that it was impossible for us to make similarly exhaustive 
enquiries in regard to crops which did not come within the purview of 
those two committees. The evidence we took on this subject was, 
however, .sufficient to convince us that, whilst the customary rotations 
have been built up as the result of generations of experience of soil and 
climate, there is every reason to believe that research and experiment 
may show ways in which these can be improved. One direction which 
appears to hold out special promise is the introduction of leguminous 
fodder crops which might, in part at least, replace the millets in the 
rotations in which millets appear. The position in regard to methods of 
cultivation, apart from questions connected with improved implements 
with which \\e deal in subsequent paragraphs, is very similar to that in 
regard to rotations. Among definite improvements we may mention 
economical methods of transplanting paddy seedlings, drill-sowing of 
cotton and other crops and inter cultivation with bullock power, and 
the reduction of the number of setts used for planting sugarcane, to 
give only a few examples, as improvements which have been thoroughly 
tested and the advantages of adopting which have been satisfactorily 
established. Whilst continued research and experiment on rotations and 
methods of tillage are necessary, the more important problem in regard 
to the latter is at present that of bringing home to the cultivator 
knowledge which is already available. It is hardly necessary to add 
that, in all research and experiment on rotations and methods of 
tillage, the specialists on each subject relating to the problem taken up 
for investigation should be freely consulted by the officer in charge of 
the investigation. Thus the botanist will often be in a position 
to make useful suggestions when a system of rotation is being 
studied and the agricultural engineer when it is a question of devising 
the most efficient and economical way of carrying out a new method 
of tillage. 

105. Agricultural implements in India are, on the whole, well adapted 

to local conditions. They are within the capacity 
AGRICULTURAL o ^ draught oxen, comparatively inexpensive, 

light and portable, easily made and, what is perhaps 
of even greater importance, easily repaired and they are constructed of 
materials which can be readily obtained. In spite of these advantages, 
there is undoubtedly very great scope for improvement in the/ 
light of modern knowledge of soil conditions. The agricultural 
departments have, however, so far done disappointingly little in this 
direction. The sales of improved implements through departmental 
agencies are infinitesimal compared with the total number of implements 
in use in India, as is shown by the fact that, in spite of the large number 
of types of improved ploughs which have been placed on the market, 
only about 17 5 000 were sold in 1925-26. The total number of 
ploughs in use in British India in 1925-26 is given in the ' * Agricultural 
Statistics of India " as nearly 25 millions. Even if full allowance is made 
for the extent to which departmental sales are supplemented by private 


enterprise, we cannot but feel that the agricultural departments have 
hardly made the fullest use of the opportunities which have presented 
themselves in this field. For this there are, in our view, two majn 
reasons. Hitherto, agricultural engineering has been regarded by those 
responsible for the administration of the agricultural departments 
merely as a secondary sphere of departmental activity. This has led to 
the recruitment of agricultural engineers on special terms which have been 
distinctly inferior to those on which the members of the Indian Agricul- 
tural Service have been engaged. It is not surprising, in these circum- 
stances, that it has proved increasingly difficult to recruit or to retain 
engineers with the requisite qualifications for the charge of this section. 
Burma and the Central Provinces were without an agricultural engineer 
when we visited them, as were Bengal and Madras, in both of which 
provinces the appointment of an agricultural engineer has only recently 
been sanctioned and has not yet been filled. Again, work on implements 
has, in several provinces, been entirely overshadowed by that connected 
with pumping and boring operations and with waterlift generally. As 
our chapter on Irrigation will show, we are very far from desiring to 
minimise the importance of these operations but it is unfortunate 
that they should have thrust the improvement of implements so much 
into the background. We fully realise the special difficulties which have 
to be faced in pushing the use of improved implements and of improved 
agricultural machinery generally. There are difficulties of finance. 
Certain kinds of agricultural machinery such as tractors, power mills 
for crushing sugarcane, and threshing machines are obviously entirely 
out of the reach of the small cultivator unless some method of using 
them co-operatively can be devised. But while the financial difficulty 
may militate against the adoption of an improved type of even 
comparatively inexpensive implements such as ploughs and hoes, we 
think that an important obstacle is the natural dislike which the normal 
individual has to being regarded as eccentric because he has bought 
a novel implement. The remedy for this is simple and effective. 
Propaganda must always be intensive, that is, it must not rest content 
with trying to convert one or two individuals in a village here and 
one or two in a village there ; it must reach all the cultivators of a 
village and induce as many of them as possible to accept the improvement. 
In so far as cost is a deterrent to the adoption of even comparatively 
inexpensive implements, the agricultural departments would do well to 
consider the possibilities of mass production of the wooden parts of such 
implements. At the departmental farm at Hmawbi close to Kangoon, 
we saw a striking example of the reduction in* price which such mass 
production can effect. The indigenous plough, consisting of a wooden 
frame and iron share, costs Rs. 5 to Us. 6. The share costs annas 8 
,to Bs. 1-8 according to size. A strong frame when made by hand costs 
Rs. 4-8, but can be turned out by machinery in lots of 200 at 
Rs. 1-12 each, thus enabling a much improved share costing Rs. 2-8 
to be fitted and the whole plough to be sold at a price below that of the 
inferior indigenous plough. The result was that the implement recently 
introduced was selling rapidly. There are also difficulties arising out of 


the lack of facilities for repairs and for obtaining spare parts. But, 
even after due weight is given to these, it is impossible to avoid the 
conclusion that the agricultural departments are far from being in as 
strong a position vis-d-vis the cultivator in regard to those implements 
which are within his means as they are in regard to improved seed. 

106. Research into problems connected with agricultural machinery 
and implements will not take that place in 
ORGANISATION OF the estimation of the agricultural departments 
ENGINEERING SECTION' which is justified by its intrinsic importance 
unless the agricultural engineering section of 
the departments is completely reorganised. The first essential, in our 
view, is that the section should be regarded as an integral part of 
the departments and that the officers in charge of it should not only be 
recruited on the same terms as members of the new superior provincial 
agricultural services but should be included in the cadre of those services. 
Their staff would similarly form part of the provincial or subordinate 
agricultural services. The second essential is that the pumping and 
boring operations should be completely separated from work on 
agricultural machinery and implements. Both branches of work are 
highly specialised and it is only in very exceptional circumstances 
that a man capable of handling both of them satisfactorily is likely to 
be found. In our chapter on Irrigation, we have discussed the question 
of the department which can most suitably carry out pumping and 
boring operations and have there recommended that these should be 
entrusted to the Agricultural Department. The importance of pumping 
and boring operations varies greatly in different provinces ; but we are 
of opinion that, in any province in which these are in progress on a con- 
siderable scale, the engineering section of the Agricultural Department 
should be divided into two branches, one of which would concentrate 
solely on work on agricultural machinery and implements and the other 
on pumping and boring. Work on water-lifts '"should be entrusted to 
that branch from which it is likely to receive the greatest attention ; but 
in provinces, such as Madras, the Punjab and the United Provinces, where 
wells are numerous, it might be desirable to entrust this responsibility to 
a third and separate branch. We consider that it would probably tend 
to administrative convenience and efficiency if the two branches or, if 
the sub-division suggested in the preceding sentence were effected, the 
three branches, were under the technical control of a senior engineer 
who would himself be under the general control of the Director of 
Agriculture and who would be selected from either branch of the 
section, or from outside, as necessitated by circumstances. 

/ As regards the qualifications required for the officer in charge of the 
work on agricultural machinery and implements, we are of opinion 
that the head of this branch should be a research engineer who is 
primarily an engineer and secondarily a farmer, a man familiar 
not only with the manufacture of machinery and implements but also 
with their use on the land. In short, he should be thoroughly conversant 
with the various problems which confront the small cultivator. He 


should know how to test implements in the field and to adapt 
them to the conditions he there finds. Such qualifications are by 
no means common as, except in the United States of America, 
graduates in engineering seldom come from the agricultural community 
and it is still more rare for graduates in agriculture to possess sufficient 
mechanical aptitude to enable them to benefit from an engineering 
training. For some time to come, it will probably be necessary to look 
to America or Europe for the type of agricultural engineer we have in 
view, that is, for a man who is a first class mechanical engineer with 
farming knowledge. 

107. There is a very wide field of research awaiting the worker 
SCOPE OF RBSJUABcii on agricultural implements. A fundamental pro- 
WORK ON AGRieuL- blem which has still to be taken up is the relation 
TURAL IMPLEMENTS o f the capacity of the cultivator's bullocks to the 
AND MACJIINKRY. implements they are required to draw. There is no 

feature of Indian agricultural practice which more forcibly strikes the 
agriculturist from other countries than the apparent inadequacy 
of the Indian plough to the work it is called upon to do. The 
construction of the ordinary country plough is such that it does 
not invert the soil and ploughing with it to any depth is difficult. 
Opinion is somewhat sharply divided as to why the cultivator 
has adhered so firmly to the use of this and similar primitive types 
of implement. Ft has been held by some authorities, notably by 
the Indian Sugar Committee, that his present implements, more 
especially the plough, are the best that he can use with the bullocks 
he possesses and that, everywhere in India outside the Punjab, 
Madras and Bombay, where a large type of plough bullock is employed, 
the first essential to the adoption of improved types of implements is 
the improvement of cattle. A second view is that the reluctance 
of the cultivator to adopt improved implements is due far more 
to his preference for implements he can carry to and from his fields 
than to any serious deficiency in draught power. We believe that 
the importance of conserving moisture has been the principal 
reason for the Indian cultivator's preference for the type of plough 
used by him ; and, as he is too poor to afford a variety of 
implements, the ordinary Indian plough is the best type of general 
purpose implement for his needs. It does not work as a plough in the 
western sense, but as what in English practice is termed a " cultivator." 
Although Indian soils would undoubtedly benefit at times by the 
use of an inverting plough, it is held that they still more often 
require the process known as " cultivating " for the purpose of conserv- 
ing moisture. If, therefore, for financial reasons, two implements 
cannot be purchased, the best Dingle type is that which stirs but 
does not invert the soil. By repeated use the Indian plough can reduce 
the soil to the same physical condition as is secured by the inverting 
implement in a single operation. Support is given to this view by the fact 
that the fellaheen of Egypt, who are remarkably successful cultivators, 
adhere to an implement of the Indian type. The differing views have 
probably taken their colour from varying local conditions and it is clear 


that the only method by which the correctness of any one of them can be 
definitely established is by a series of careful experiments carried out over 
a term of years. It is eminently desirable that further attention should 
be given to this subject on which evidence based on experiment is lacking. 
If the draught capacity of the bullock should prove the limiting factor in 
regard to the adoption of improved implements in any part of India, it is 
obviously useless for the Agricultural Department to push the use of 
such implements in that tract until such time as a bullock has been 
produced which will prove equal to the work required of it or until 
the condition of the present cattle has been improved to make them 
equal to drawing implements of greater draught. We would remark, 
in passing, that, even if lightness and portability of implements should 
prove the principal desiderata, there would still remain ample room for 
improvement in the types of draught cattle used in the greater part of 
India. This point is discussed in our chapter on Animal Husbandry. 

Kecent work at Rothamsted has thrown valuable light on the lines on 
which the experiments we suggest above should be carried out. The 
study of the cultivation processes at Eothamsted has been greatly 
facilitated by the measurement of the resistance offered by the soil to 
the passage of the implements used in cultivation. This measurement is 
done by means of a specially designed dynamometer which is inserted 
in the hitch between the implement and the tractive force. The 
records thus obtained are of direct use in comparing the working efficiency 
of different implements and of different types of the same implement 
provided that the heterogeneity of the soil has been previously ascertained 
and that due allowance has been made for it. The records are also of 
further value, after analysis in the laboratory, in ascertaining the part 
played by such factors as soil cohesion and plasticity and by surface 
friction. The dynamometer measurements thus form an essential 
connecting link between laboratory and field studies and it is, therefore, 
necessary that the instrument itself should be as .reliable as possible. 
Much work has been done at Rothamsted on the development of a suitable 
design and an instrument has now been volved which has satisfactorily 
passed severe and extended tests. The instrument is light and convenient 
in use and, as the record IB obtained on a moving celluloid strip, it is both 
grease' and weather proof. It is capable of recording every range in 
draught from a few pounds to several tons. The apparatus has been 
placed on the market and we are of opinion that its adaptation to use 
in Indian conditions should be thoroughly tested. 

The use of an improved plough which will permit of deeper ploughing 
than can be done by the ordinary country implement is frequently 
advocated as an agricultural practice the adoption of which would prove 
of immense benefit to the Indian cultivator. That such ploughing is 
essential to the proper cultivation of improved types of sugarcane and 
that it is advantageous in conserving moisture for the rabi crop in 
certain conditions is unquestionable. But it has certainly not been 
established that it would pay the cultivator in all kharif conditions. 
Indeed the contrary is more probable for, on the one hand, in areas ' 
where the rainfall is light, there it* great risk that deep ploughing i 


will disperse the moisture received from the first showers to such 
an extent that the seed will not germinate ; on the other hand, 
in areas of heavy rainfall, deep ploughing is liable to cause the 
retention of so much moisture that again germination may fail or 
be defective, while, if sowing is unduly delayed, the yield may be 
adversely affected. This, again, is a point on which sound advice 
can only be given to the cultivator on the basis of exhaustive trials 
of the comparative merits of the country and of the inversion 
plough, carried out under his conditions and extending over a period of 
at least five years. Such trials should be combined with the investiga- 
tion into the draught capacity required for different implements 
suggested above and the results would require very careful analysis 
with reference to the climatic conditions under which they were 
carried out. 

Several witnesses before us, including the representatives of important 
manufacturing interests, expressed the view that the spread of improved 
implements in India would have been much more rapid than it has been 
had it not been for the efforts of agricultural officers and others to invent 
new types. Such efforts, though entirely praiseworthy in intention, 
have been distinctly unfortunate in effect if for no other reason than 
that they have involved a waste of time and money on the evolution 
of types which have already been experimented with by manu- 
facturers and condemned on the ground of cost or other disadvantages. 
We consider that there is a certain amount of justification for this 
view, and that one of the reasons why the work of the Agricultural 
Department on improved implements has so far been disappointing is 
that the idiosyncrasies of individual inventors have been allowed too 
free play and that the advantage of a continuous series of experiments, 
fully recorded and handed on from one officer to his successor, has 
been sometimes lost sight of. The excessive multiplication of improved 
types of implements is open to very much the same objections as the 
excessive multiplication of improved varieties of crops. It merely 
confuses the cultivator and makes him suspicious of the whole policy 
,of the Agricultural Department. It is open to the further objection 
that it prevents mass production, with the reduction in cost that results 
therefrom, and also the standardisation of spare parts on any large scale. 
We were informed by one large firm of manufacturers in England that, 
of the 350 types of ploughs they were making, mass production had only 
proved possible with a dozen types and that this was the experience of 
the trade as a whole. It will, however, be obvious that notwithstanding 
the great diversity of local conditions, a country such as India, in which 
the total number of ploughs is about 25 millions, presents great possibi- 
lities of advance in this respect. We trust that the reorganisation of 
the engineering sections of the agricultural departments which we have 
advocated in the preceding paragraph will lead to greater continuity of 
policy and we would again emphasise that the aim of these sections 
should be the evolution of a small number of types, suitable for a wide 
range of conditions, and, therefore, suitable also for mass production. 
We realise that the number of types eventually put out under the 


auspices of the department must vary in different proving and that 
provinces such as the Punjab, the United Provinces or Bengal, with their 
large tracts of comparatively homogeneous soil, should need fewer types 
bhan provinces in which conditions are so varied as they are in Madras, 
bhe Central Provinces and Bombay. 

The improvement of existing agricultural implement* and machinery 
Offers, in our view, a more promising field for the activities of the 
Agricultural engineering section than the introduction of new implements 

machinery. But, whilst we think that the most important part of the 

Irk of this section should be the careful testing of different types of 
plements, of cane crushing mills, of water-lifts and buckets and so on, 
their adaptation, where necessary, to local conditions, we do not 

Jfeh it to be inferred that we are of opinion that there are no possibilities 
ofintroducmg new implements or machinery. We were informed by the 
Director of Agriculture, Madras, that a cheap automatic seed drill which 
would enable the cultivator to take the fullest advantage of the first fall 
of rain was badly needed. Strong and cheap threshing and winnowing 
machines which were also mentioned to us as desiderata should appeal 
to the cultivator with a holding of moderate size in tracts where labour 
is scarce or dear. To assist his bullocks in treading out the corn the 
Egyptian fellah uses a cheap and simple implement that might prove 
useful in many parts of India. The improvement of the country cart 
with a view to make it less destructive to the roads and more humane 
to the cattle is also a matter which might well engage the attention of 
the agricultural engineering section. +* 

108. We have so far dealt with agricultural implements and 
POSSIBILITIES OF machinery mainly from the point of view of the 
POWER MACHINERY. sma u cultivator. The use of large scale machinery 
such as steam tackle and motor tractors, and indeed of any 
iprra of power machinery, is obviously entirely outside his purview 
in present conditions and the only hope of placing it within his reach is 
by co-operative effort. On large estates, especially on those on which 
the problem of the labour supply is at all acute, the question assumes a 
different aspect. The Indian Sugar Committee, which examined it in 
some detail, came to the conclusion that, given areas large enough to 
keep it fully employed, steam taejde could effect material economies 
in the cost of cane cultivation. As regards motor tractors, the committee 
held that on smaller estates and even on large estates where it was not a 
question of breaking up large areas of land, the motor tractor, whilst 
equally useful, would probably be found more economical than steam 
tackle as its capital cost would be much lower and it would not. therefore, 
involve such a heavy charge per acre as steam tackle does on any estate 
which is not of sufficient size to keep it fully employed. At the time the 
Sugar Committee reported, experiments to ascertain the most suitable 
type of tractor for different classes of land were in progress and, on the 
basis of the results obtained at Pusa, it was held that a tractor would 
displace eight to ten pairs of bullocks and that, in these circumstances, 
the scope for the use of tractors in India was enormous. The Sugar 
Committee dealt with this question solely as it affected cane cultivation 

MO.Y 2808 


and based jfs conclusions mainly, if not entirely, on experiments carried 
out at Pusa. Since the Committee reported, some progress in the 
use of steam tackle and motor tractors has been made in Bombay, 
the Punjab and the Central Provinces, but, on the whole, it 
been very small, and little evidence of value on the subject was fo| 
coming during^ our enquiries. The agricultural departments do ! 
appear at preSnt to be in a position to give a lead in regard to 
use of steam tackle and motor tractors Owing to the insufficiency of i 
investigations which have so far been made into the economics! 
cultivation by their means. There appears, for example, reason to belil 
that the published figures of the cost of cultivation by steam tackle 
tractors are sometimes misleading owing to the failure to include 
allowance for interest on the capital cost of the plant and for 

A thorough and businesslike investigation of the economics of power 
cultivation appears to us to be specially called for in the Central 
Provinces where th? use of such machinery seems to offer the only 
hope of bringing back to cultivation the extensive areas of land at 
present lying desolate owing to infestation with the deep rooted kans 
grass. The tractors so far used have proved unequal to the work of 
removing this and steam tackle is now being employed. Whatever the 
type of power machinery found most suitable, a detailed investigation 
of the cost of employing it is essential. 

109. In pursuance of our desire that the manufacture in India of 
1T , *i,. xr ^Am^u agricultural machinery and implements should be 

LvAILWAY KATIES OJS 11 i 1 i t 1 

AGRICULTURAL MAciii- encouraged, we have also examined the rates charged 
NERY AND IMPLE- by the railways for the transport of such goods. 
MENT8 ' In the present state of industrial development in 

India, it cannot be expected that a factory capable of turning out the 
more elaborate types of machinery and implements should be establish^ 
in each province. At the same time, railway transport charges to distant 
parts of the country are a serious matter to agricultural implement 
firms. While the railways are commercial undertakings and, as such, 
must earn a reasonable rate of interest on the capital sunk in them, it is 
greatly to their interest to encourage internal manufactures by charging 
the lowest possible rates for the movement to the factory of raw i 
and from the factory of the finished article all over the co\] 
would, therefore, suggest that freight rates on agricultural 
and machinery ishould be re-examined from this point of view and 
that, where possible, concessions should be given. 

110. A discussion oHSfe methods which should be adopted to promote 

the use of improved agricultural machinery and 
REBATE OP THE implements in India falls more naturally in the 


AND STEEL USED IN chapter on Demonstration and Propaganda and 
THE MANUFACTURE will there be found. There are, however, two points 
OP AGRICULTURAL j n connection with machinerv and implements which 


MACHINERY. may conveniently be dealt with here. It was repre- 

sented to us that, whilst agricultural implement^ 
and machinery with a few exceptions are admitted into India free 


of duty, the high protective duties levied on imported iron and 
steel greatly increase the cost to the Indian manufacturer of his 
Taw material, whether imported or produced in India. He is thus 
placed at a serious disadvantage as compared with his foreign 
competitors. An attempt to assess the exact extent of the disadvantage 
under which he labours would have necessitated an examination of techni- 
cal questions of manufacture which was beyond our competence but there 
appear to us to be primd facie grounds for holding that the representation 
which was made to us on this point is deserving of further investiga- 
tion. In the present stage ot development of Indian agriculture and of 
the manufacture in Iiidia of agricultural implements and machinery, 
we should be strongly opposed to any measures, such as the imposition 
of a protective duty in the interests of the Indian manufacturer, which 
would increase the cost to the cultivator of implements and machinery, 
At the same time, the scope for the use of improved implements and 
machinery is so great that it is most desirable that manufacture in India 
should be encouraged. The existence of the duty on imported iron and 
steel acts in exactly the opposite direction and discourages the 
Indian manufacturer from using the best and most durable material 
available. We, therefore, recommend that enquiry should be made into 
the effect on the Indian manufacturer of the present rates of import duty 
on iron and steel. If it is found that the handicap imposed by the duty 
<on his raw material is at all serious, we consider that he might be given a 
rebate on any iron or steel which he can show to have been imported for 
the manufacture of agricultural machinery and implements. If the 
.recommendation which we make below is accepted, all classes of agri- 
cultural machinery and implements will be imported free, and a rebate 
would not therefore be open to the criticism that it gives the manufacturer 
in India an unfair advantage over firms in India importing agricultural 
machinery and implements. 

The second point which arises in this connection is the definition of 
" agricultural implements " which is adopted for the purposes of the 
Tariff Schedule. It appears that the pans used for boiling gur are regarded 
not as agricultural implements but as " iron or steel discs and circles. " 
As such, they are subject to a protective duty. This differentiation is 
difficult to understand as these pans are much more essential to the 
cultivator of sugarcane than is a winnower to the cultivator of wheat. 
Again, whilst the pug mills and centrifugal machines used in the manu- 
'facture of sugar, when worked by power, are now admitted free of duty 
under the Tariff Amendment Act recently passed, such machines when 
worked by hand and animal power are classed under the head " All 
other sorts of implements, instruments, apparatus and appliances and 
parts thereof, not otherwise specified " and are subject to a duty of 
fifteen per cent. This classificatifl^bgars very hardly on a subsidiary 
agricultural industry, the great vlWb of \vhich to the small cultivator 
came prominently under our personal observation in the United Provinces. 
Further, it has been represented to us that the poultry industry, another 
-subsidiary agricultural industry of considerable potentialities, is handi- 
capped by the duty of fifteen per cent which is levied on incubators. On 

MO Y 286 8a 


the other hand, all appliances used in the dairy industry are admitted 
free. There are probably other anomalies of a similar character which 
have not come under our notice. The existing tariff legislation clearly 
recognises the desirability of cheapening the cost to the cultivator of all 
agricultural implements, apparatus and machinery. We are strongly 
of opinion that this principle should be carried to its logical conclusion 
and that the term " agricultural implements " should invariably be 
interpreted in the sense most favourable to him. ' 

111. A word should here be said in regard to the contention which 
SIMULTANEOUS IN- ^ as frequently been put forward that, where i. 

TRODUOTION OF iM- standard of cultivation is not already co: 
S""VTO paratively high, no permanent advantage can be 
METHODS OF cuLTivA- expected from the spread of improved varieties 
TION. of crops without the simultaneous adoption of 

improved agricultural methods. The Indian Sugar Committee was 
specially emphatic on this point, and went so far as to hold that, in 
attempting to achieve lasting improvements by the substation of new 
varieties of cane in northern India, where tlfe standard of calre cultivation 
is notoriously low, without any complementary improvement in the 
treatment they receive, the Coimbatore Sugarcane Station was pursuing 
a chimera. We consider that this is a much exaggerated view. 
We have stated our opinion that there is considerable justification for 
holding that improved varieties of crops require more liberal manurial 
treatment than those ordinarily grown because of their more rapid 
development and larger yield, and it is not open to argument that 
improved varieties of crops will not give the best results unless their 
introduction is accompanied by that of improved methods of cultivation. 
But it has, we think, been abundantly established that even where the 
standard of cultivation falls far short of that which is desirable, there 
are a number of improved varieties which can be grown with advantage 
to the cultivator. In putting forward this view, we do not, of course, 
wish it to be .understood that the agricultural departments should in 
any way relax their efforts to ensure that such varieties are grown in 
conditions which will enable them to yield the maximum return. 

112. Cultivators in dry and precarious tracts are those whose struggle 

for a livelihood is commonly hardest, and whose 

PROBLEMS OF CULTI- standards of living are most depressed. The 

PRECARIOUS raToTs. NI> problems of cultivation in such tracts in which 

crops are entirely dependent upon rainfall are, 
in our opinion, deserving of far closer attention than they have received 
from the agricultural departments. In the earlier years of their history, 
and for the reasons which we described in paragraph 97, the departments 
applied themselves first to research on those crops which offered 
the best prospects of success and which, in the main, with the exception 
of groundnut and certain varieties *of cotton, were crops grown under 
irrigation. It happens, moreover, that those crops that have received 
least attention from the departments of agriculture, such as the millets, 
are amongst the typical crops in most unirrigated districts. Thus, the 
cultivator in dry areas may, we think, reasonably complain that, neither 


as regards those problems of cultivation peculiar to the conditions in 
which he farms, nor as to the crops, with the exception of cotton 
and groundnut, which are of special importance to him, has he received 
a fair share of the time and attention of the agricultural depart- 
ments. Though the problems of the farmer in unirrigated areas of 
sparse rainfall have, during the past half-century, received attention in 
many parts of the world, much more remains to be done in this area 
of investigation. The timely reduction of the land to a condition in 
which it is best able to receive and conserve the available moisture ; the 
^peculiar need of inter-culture during the development of the crop ; 
atnd the possibilities of the profitable use of manures, artificial and natural, 
both as a means of providing plant food, and also of improving the 
texture of the soil, are all questions which offer a hopeful field for further 
systematic enquiry, and for demonstration and propaganda in the tracts 
in question. Another problem of much importance in the dry tracts 
is that of equipping the cultivator at small cost with an implement 
capable of aapidly breaking up the surface of land immediately after 
rain. The condition of the s$l in which it is capable of being so treated 
does not long endure, and the area that a cultivator can sow in 
unirrigated land is frequently limited by that which he can succeed in 
breaking up during this brief period of time. Again, we are impressed 
by the possibility, particularly in dry districts, of accelerating, by means 
of the repeated use of the plough, those natural processes by which 
plant food materials are formed in the soil. This is a matter which, 
in our opinion, deserves the attention of the departments in the fields 
both of experiment and of advertisement. 

113. Closely bound up with the subject of crop improvement is that 
of crop protection. The Indian agriculturist IB 
P rotected a g ain8t ^e importation of pests and 
diseases from oufti^le the country by an all -India 
Act the Destructive Insects and Pests Act II of 1914. This legislation 
appears to be satisfactorily fulfilling the objects with which it was enacted 
and the only criticism of its working that was made in evidence was that 
disinfection at the port of entry sometimes took so long that the plants 
treated did not survive to reach their destination. So far as such com- 
plaints are justified, they merely point to administrative defects which 
it should not be difficult to rectify. A suggestion was made to us that 
the exemption from the operation of the rules framed under the Act 
which has been made in favour of the Imperial Sugarcane Expert and 
the Secretary of the Sugar Bureau at Pusa, who are allowed to import 
material direct, should be extended to directors of agriculture who also 
have mycological and entomological assistance readily available. In 
these circumstances, it was urged that exemption would not lead to any 
undesirable results. It is, however, in our opinion, so important that 
India should be safeguarded against the introduction of new pests and 
diseases that we are unable to support this proposal. The history of the 
boll- weevil in the United States has shown how great are the risks that 
would attend any relaxation of the present restrictions. 


The Destructive Insects and Pests Act of 1914 governs the import 
into British India only of material likely to cause infection to crops. It 
would seem that, when the Act was passed, the importance of securing 
the co-operation of the maritime Indian States was not sufficiently 
realised. The necessity for obtaining this has recently become prominent 
owing to the occasional importation of East African cotton seed into 
ports in the Kathiawar State* and the consequent danger that the Sudan 
boll-worm (the African red boll-worm, Diparopsis castanea) may be 
brought into this country. The Indian Central Cotton Committee has 
under consideration the question of enlisting the interest of the Darbars 
of the Kathiawar States in making at their ports arrangements 
designed to prevent the occurrence of a calamity of this nature. We trust 
that the Government of India will take steps to draw the attention of 
the Darbars of all maritime States to the urgent need of guarding 
against a danger that threaten* the agricultural prosperity of the whole 
of India, including that of the States in question. We also hope that 
it may be found possible at an early date to secure the co-operation of 
the maritime States in measures designed to give security against the 
possible introduction into India of plant pests of whatever nature, and not 
only of those peculiar to the cotton plant. Otherwise internal measures 
against infection may become necessary in future and these will give rise 
to problems of far greater difficulty than those presented by protection 
against infection from outside India. Burma is, however, specially favour- 
ably situated geographically in respect of infection from outside. It is 
at present free from certain pests which attack Indian crops such, for 
example , as the chilo insect which attacks jfwar and certain grasses, the 
emmolacra which attacks sugarcane and the stem borer which attacks 
cotton. In these circumstances, there appears to us considerable force in 
the proposal which was made to us in the course of the evidence which 
we took in Burma that the Destructive Insects and Pests Act should be 
amended in order to permit the Control of the import into Burma from 
India of any material likely to cause the infection of a crop grown in that 
province. The object desired could, we think, be more satisfactorily 
secured by provincial legislation. The exact scope of this legislation 
would require careful examination by a small expert committee on which 
any trade interests involved should be suitably represented. 

114. The problem of internal protection falls under three main heads. 
(6) INTERNAL PRO- These are protection against pests and diseases, 
TKOTIO *~ BOTEOTION protection against deterioration of a superior variety 
AGAINST PESTS which results from the mixing of seed and protection 
AND DISKASES. against wild animals and vermin. There are two 
methods of dealing with the problem of protection against pests and 
diseases. The first is by purely agricultural measures such as the streng- 
thening of the entomological and mycological staffs of the agricultural 
departments, the evolution of varieties which are resistant to disease 
and the general improvement of the environmental conditions under 
which crops are grown. The extent to which pests and diseases can be 
controlled by attention to the two last of these factors has been 
very strikingly illustrated in Java where the Research Station 


Association of the Java Sugar Industry has found that proper methods 
of cultivation and the introduction of immune or highly resistant 
varieties of sugarcane are the most important factors in the control 
and elimination of pests and diseases. It may be doubted whether 
this satisfactory condition of affairs is capable of attainment in 
India even in regard to a particular crop such as sugarcane or 
cotton. The agricultural departments are, however, fully alive to what 
is required in this direction and, except to the extent mentioned below, 
we have no special recommendations to make under this head. We 
consider that each of the major provinces should have its own 
entomologist and mycologist and where financial considerations 
have prevented the addition of these appointments to the 
cadre of the Agricultural Department, we trust that the omission \\ill 
be supplied at an early date. As regards the Imperial staff, the Indian 
Sugar Committee recommended that an entomologist should be added 
to the staff of Pusa specially for work on insect pests of sugarcane. The 
necessity for this appointment still continues and we would, therefore, 
support the recommendation of the Sugar Committee in this regard as 
also that for more mycological work on diseases of cane. 

The second method of dealing with destructive pests and diseases is 
by legislation. So far, the only province which has taken concerted 
action to deal with these bv legislation is Madras in which an Agri- 
cultural Pests and Diseases Act was passed in 1919. This Act has been 
used very successfully in -corn bating a fungoid disease of the palmyra 
palm, an insect pest of coconut palms and the spi ead of the water hyacinth 
but has not proved so successful in dealing with the pests at which it was 
principally aimed -the insect pests which attack Cambodia cotton. The 
failure in this respect does not appear to have been due to any defect in 
the Act itself, but to the fact that lack of popular support has prevented 
its provisions being put into full operation. Cambodia cotton is sown 
in October, usually about the middle of the month. The first or main 
picking of the previous season's crop is taken in May. The June rains 
produce a new flush which is followed by a second picking. If the rains 
are late, this picking is delayed till August. The Agricultural Depart- 
ment holds, for what we consider to be sound reasons, that the only hope 
of eradicating the pink boll-woim and the spotted weevil, which cause so 
much damage to the Cambodia cotton crop, lies in the fixation of a mini- 
mum period of two months between the time the old crop is off the ground 
and the new crop is sown. In ordinary conditions, this minimum period 
can only be secured if the old crop is uprooted before August 1st, that is 
usually before the second picking is complete and sometimes before it has 
even commenced. It is in these circumstances that the Act has, ever since 
it was introduced, met with considerable opposition from those affected 
by it who have failed to realise that any loss resulting from the failure 
to obtain a picking of badly diseased and stained cotton for the second 
picking is always very markedly inferior to the first would be far more 
than counterbalanced by the higher prices that would be obtained as 
the result of the better quality of the following year's crop. Owing to 
the opposition which has been encountered, the date by which Cambodia 


cotton has now to be removed has been fixed at September 1st and 
the provisions of the Act have been largely rendered nugatory. Whilst 
we consider that the Madras example in passing an Agricultural Pests 
and Diseases Act is one which deserves general imitation, we are strongly 
of opinion that, once such an Act has been placed on the Statute Book, 
its provisions should be rigidly enforced and should not be rendered 
ineffective by half-hearted application. 

115. The only crop in respect of which the deterioration resulting 

() PROTECT/ON ^ rom the m i xm g f see d nas been so marked as to 

A.QAINST UKTL- necessitate special measures for dealing with 

To 01 ^^ ^ ' i<; is cotton - The reason f r this is that cotton 
SEKD. has so far been the only crop in India for which 

it has proved worth while to import an inferior variety from one 
tract into another with the deliberate purpose of adulteration. In 
the Punjab canal colonies, where two distinct species of cotton, 
one comprising the short stapled indigenous varieties and the other 
the longer stapled American varieties, are grown in the same 
tract, a recent survey conducted by the Indian Central Cotton 
Committee has shown that mixing by the cultivator is negligible and 
that the two species are marketed separately but mixed deliberately at 
the ginning factories. Deterioration owing to mixing has thus been due 
to commercial rather than agricultural conditions In these circum- 
stances, the grower of cotton cannot be held responsible for it. 

Under the Cotton Transport Act III of 1923, an all-India Act, based 
on the recommendations of the Indian Cotton Committee as modified 
by the Indian Central Cotton Committee, a local Government, with the 
approval of the Legislative Council, may notify any area in which cotton 
of superior quality is grown and may prohibit the importation by rail, 
road or sea into such an area, except under license, of ginned or unginned 
cotton, cotton seed or cotton waste. The provisions of the Act were put 
into force soon after it became law in two areas in the Bombay Presidency 
and have recently been enforced in three areas in the Madras Presidency. 
In the areas in which it has been enforced, the Act is proving effective in 
checking the more flagrant forms of abuse but it cannot be applied to 
conditions such as exist in the Punjab canal colonies, where, as stated 
above, short and long staple varieties are grown in the same tract. 
It is hoped that the Cotton Ginning and Pressing Factories 
Act, also an all -India Act, which became law in 1925, and under the 
provisions of which mixed, adulterated or damped cotton can be traced 
back not only to the factory which ginned and pressed it but also to the 
original owner will enable such malpractices as those which have led to 
the deterioration of Punjab cotton to be stopped. The Act has not, how- 
ever, been in force sufficiently long to show how far this anticipation is 
likely to be realised. Should it prove unfounded, other means of dealing 
with the situation will need to be devised. We do not consider it 
necessary to discuss the form these should take as we have every confi- 
dence in the ability of the Indian Central Cotton Committee to deal 
adequately with this and all other questions affecting Indian cotton. We 
feel it necessary, however, to state that the evidence we have received 


entirely supports the view taken by that committee of the seriousness 
of the deterioration of Punjab cotton which has resulted from the mixing 
of seed in the ginning factories. 

116. The extent of the damage to crops from wild animals varies 

greatly from province to province but that it is 

IO^NST E WD considerable for India as a whole is evident from the 

ANIMALS AND fact that a committee which investigated the 

VERMIN. question recently in the Bombay Presidency 

estimated the direct loss for that province alone at Rs. 70 lakhs annually. 

It is probably as great in the United Provinces and even greater in the 

Central Provinces but, on the other hand, we received no complaints in 

regard to it from Madras. Tracts adjacent to forests are the worst 

sufferers especially as both cattle and crops in such tracts are laid under 

toll. But the damage done is by no means confined to such tracts and the 

crops of cultivators in areas remote from forests are often subjected to 

the unwelcome attentions of wild pigs, jackals and black buck whilst, 

in some parts of India, notably in parts of the United Provinces, 

monkeys are an unmitigated riuisance. Concerted action against wild 

animals in this country is rendered difficult by the aversion of a very 

large section of the community from taking animal life. Mainly for 

this reason, many witnesses before us held that the only satisfactory 

method of combating the evil was by fencing. 

Fencing is, however, in mbst 'cases beyond the means of the small 
cultivator ; and co-operative societies for fencing, which have met with 
some success in parts of the Bombay Presidency, encounter great 
difficulties owing to the fact that the interest of the cultivator in 
communal fencing varies inversely with the distance of his fields from 
the forests or waste lands in which wild animals find harbourage. We 
were informed that sugarcane in the Central Provinces can be adequately 
protected by woven fencing and that there is a steady expansion in the 
use of such fencing. Where stone is readily available, as it is in parts 
of bhe Bombay Presidency, stone walls, provided they are properly 
maintained, have been found cheap and effective. Speaking generally, 
however, the problem of devising a satisfactory form of fencing is one 
which requires further investigation. On the whole, therefore, whilst 
we consider that the agricultural departments should persevere in 
their efforts to find such a fencing and should more especially 
experiment with live fences in areas in which suitable material 
for these is available, and that co-operative action in this direction 
should be encouraged in all possible ways, we are of opinion that 
fencing can only, at the best, be regarded as a palliative. We revert to 
this point in our chapter on Animal Husbandry, paragraph 202. The 
remedy most generally advocated in evidence before us was the grant of 
gun licenses on a more liberal scale than that now in operation. 
There is an obvious danger not only that fire-arms so licensed might be 
misused but that they might not be used at all but merely retained as 
a mark of dignity. We doubt, however, if the latter risk would 
really be appreciable, if care were taken to grant licenses for crop 
protection only to persons competent and willing to use guns. The 


number of gun licenses issued for crop protection within the last 
fifteen years has grown from about 49,000 to over 81,000, that is by 
65 per cent. 

Operations on a large scale against vermin are at present confined to 
the Punjab and lower Sind. In the Puniab, a staff of two agricultural 
assistants, four temporary muJcaddams and eight fieldmen are now 
being employed in extirpating rats, mole rats and porcupines. Grants- 
are in some instances given by district boards and over 700,000 rats were 
killed in 1926. The operations in lower Sind are directed chiefly against 
rats. A small staff of three agricultural assistants is employed and 
zamindars in the areas where work has been done have offered to 
defray the whole cost of the continuance of the operations. 

In view of the damage admittedly done to crops by wild animals^ 
we have been careful in the course of our inquiries to watch for any 
indication that the interests of the cultivator are being sacrificed to the 
interests of sport, and we have also examined from this point of view the 
provisions of the Wild Birds and Animals Protection Act (No. VIII of 
191 2) and of the Indian Forest Act (No. VI of 1 927). As a result, we are 
satisfied that there is no evidence to justify any such allegation over 
the country as a whole. Where reserved forests are close to cultivation, 
it may, however, be desirable to review the question of the grant by 
the competent forest officer of the permits without which no person is- 
entitled to enter such forests for purposes of destroying wild animals. 
Provided that no damage is done to the forest as a timber reserve, 
permits should, we consider, never be refused for the destruction of 
harmful animals in such of these forests as are close to cultivation or to 
areas frequented by cattle, where it can be shown that damage is being 
inflicted. This recommendation does not apply to forest villages 
situated in high forests remote from extensive cultivation. In such 
cases, the preservation of a certain number of the larger fauna may 
be a legitimate object of forest policy in the interests of the country as 
a whole. 

SUMMARY OF roa- ' '?. The conclusions and recommendations in this 
CLUSIONS AND REcoM- chapter may be summarised as follows : 


(1) A soil survey of the whole of India at the present time is not 
recommended (paragraph 76). 

(*2) Soil surveys should only be undertaken when there is a specific 
problem to solve or when laboratory examination of soils is required to 
interpret information already on record (paragraph 76). 

(3) The Council of Agricultural Research should undertake the 
collation and publication of all the available information regarding 
the composition and characteristics of Indian soils (paragraph 76). 

( 1) No sensible diminution in the fertility of long cultivated soils is 
to be anticipated (paragraph 77). 

(5) There is much scope for work in many directions on soils 
and soil conditions, more particularly where rice is grown (para- 
graph 78). 

(6) For this work additional staff will be required (paragraph 78). 


(7) A rapid expansion of the afforestation of ravine lands in the 
United Provinces as a means of preventing soil erosion is justified by 
the results so far obtained (paragraph 79). 

(8) The exact extent of soil erosion in the Bombay Presidency 
should be investigated and schemes for preventing it should be prepared 
(paragraph 79). 

(9) The feasibility of combining the methods adopted in the United 
Provinces and Bombay for the prevention of soil erosion in western 
Bengal and the submontane districts of the Punjab should be 
investigated (paragraph 79). 

(10) The methods of preventing soil erosion in Bombay appear 
specially applicable to Ohota Nagpur (paragraph 79). 

(11) There is justification for the view that improved varieties of 
crops require for their fullest development more liberal manurial 
treatment than those ordinarily grown, but the subject is one 
which requires the most careful study by the agricultural departments 
(paragraph 80). 

(12) The agricultural departments in India are not at present in a 
position to give the cultivator, whether of irrigated or unirrigated 
crops, definite advice in regard to the economic use of fertilisers 
(paragraph 81). 

(13) The existing material bearing on this point should, therefore, 
be carefully studied and the results obtained correlated so far as the 
nature of the material permits (paragraph 81). 

(1 t) A programme of experiment with the object of ascertaining 
with exactitude the extent to which fertilisers can profitably be used 
should be formulated (paragraph 81). 

(15) Mann rial experiments on unirrigated land are specially 
important (paragraph 81). 

(16) The Council of Agricultural Research should be in a position 
to advise as to the manner in which experiments with fertilisers 
can best be conducted so as to secure uniformity of method and 
to render results obtained in one province of value to other 
provinces (paragraph 81). 

(17) The evidence has not suggested any alternative to the use of 
farmyard manure as fuel for domestic purposes where coal and wood 
are dear (paiagraph 82). 

(18) In some tracts the refuse of crops could be used for fuel to 
a far greater extent than at present (paragraph 82). 

(19) Steps should be taken to promote the better preservation 
of such farmyard manure as is not diverted to consumption as fuel 
(paragraph 83). 

(20) The Indian cultivator has much to learn from the Chinese and 
Japanese cultivator in regard to the use of composts (paragraph 83). 

(21) A beginning has been made in investigating the possibilities 
of manufacturing synthetic farmyard manure in India on the lines 
worked out at Rothamsted, but more investigation is required 
(paragraph 83). 


(22) The use of poudrette is preferable to that of night soil 
(paragraph 84). 

(23) The methods of converting night soil into poudrette adopted at 
Nasik and elsewhere deserve study by municipalities (paragraph 84). 

(24) The agricultural departments should themselves conduct 
experiments in the conversion of night soil into manure and arrange 
for demonstrations (paragraph 84). 

(25) The activated sludge process provides a means of overcoming 
the objections of the cultivator to the use of night soil. The possibilities 
of adopting this process, however, depend on local circumstances 
(paragraph 84). 

(26) The agricultural departments should investigate the best 
methods of employing leguminous crops in increasing soil fertility 
(paragraph 85). 

(27) Experimental work is required to discover the green manure 
crops which can best be included in the cultivator's rotations 
(paragraph 86). 

(28) The possibility of growing crops which will supply green manure 
without impairing the commercial value of the crop is worth considera- 
tion (paragraph 86). 

(29) The continuance of the remission of the charge for water from 
government sources of irrigation in certain provinces and its extension 
to other areas as an encouragement to grow green manure crops should 
be conditional on its being accompanied by active propaganda. All 
areas in which the concession is given should be kept under regular 
examination (paragraph 86). 

(30) Neither an export tax on oil-seeds or oilcakes nor the total 
prohibition of such export can be justified (paragraph 87). 

(31) The only method by which the advantages of the supply of 
combined nitrogen available in the large crops of oil-seeds grown in 
India can be secured is by the natural development of the oil -crushing 
industry and the possibilities of an extension of the industry should 
be investigated (paragraph 87). 

(32) The development of the manufacture of, and the local 
market for, sulphate of ammonia in this country is satisfactory 
(paragraph 88). 

(33) No further investigation under government auspices of the 
possibilities of manufacturing synthetic nitrogen in India is at present 
required (paragraph 89). 

(34) The objections to the establishment by the Government of India 
of a central fertiliser organisation subsidised by firms dealing in 
fertilisers are such that this course cannot be recommended, but the 
establishment by fertiliser firms of their own research stations work- 
ing in co-operation with the agricultural departments and other 
bodies interested in the fertiliser question is to be welcomed 
(paragraph 90). 

(35) Neither an export tax on bones, bone meal or fish manures 
nor the total prohibition of such export can be justified (paragraphs 91 
and 92). 


' V 36) A thorough investigation of the economics of the bone-crushing 
industry is required before the establishment of bone- crush ing 
factories at suitable centres can be recommended (paragraph 91). 

(37) The known deposits of natural phosphates in India offer no 
important possibilities as a source of fertilisers (paragraph 93). 

(38) No necessity at present exists for legislation against the 
adulteration of fertilisers (paragraph 94). 

(39) The railway authorities should keep under constant review the 
possibility of given further concessions for the transport of fertilisers 
(paragraph 95). 

(40) There is still very great scope for further work in introducing 
improved varieties of crops, especially in regard to millets, pulses and 
oil-seeds (paragraph 97). 

(41) Of the methods of obtaining varieties superior to those ordinarily 
grown, selection is that which still, in general, offers the greatest 
possibilities in Indian conditions (paragraph 97). 

(42) Hybridisation should only be undertaken by officers who, in 
addition to special training, have had the necessary experience of 
Indian crops and conditions (paragraph 97). 

(43) It will as a rule be advantageous to the research worker to 
combine his main work on a particular crop with work on a crop of 
secondary importance (paragraph 98). 

(41) Experiments in the introduction of new crops should continue 
but work on exotics should, in no circumstances, take precedence of 
work on crops already grown in India (paragraph 99). 

(45) Seeds, seedling plants and cuttings of exotic species and of 
exotic varieties of indigenous species imported for experimental sowing 
or planting should be exempted from import duty (paragraph 99.) 

(46) No new variety should be put out unless it has been thoroughly 
well established that it possesses marked advantages over those already 
grown (paragraph 100). 

(47) The agricultural departments should carefully consider the 
trend of the world's markets in framing their policy in regard to plant 
breeding (paragraph 100). 

(48) Improved varieties should be thoroughly tested in the conditions 
under which they would be grown by the cultivator (paragraph 100). 

(49) Seed merchants of proved integrity and enterprise should be 
encouraged by agricultural departments but for a very long time to 
come seed distribution must continue to form one of the most 
important branches of the work of the agricultural departments 
(paragraph 101). 

(50) Co-operative agency offers the best prospects of assistance to 
the departments in seed distribution. Use might also be made of 
private seed agents (paragraph 101). 

(51 ) The selection and distribution of pure seed of all crops should be 
controlled by the agricultural departments in the manner best suited 
to the local conditions of each tract and it would be unwise to lay 
down any rigid lines of policy to be followed (paragraph 103). 


(52) A considerable increase in the number of seed farms is desirable 
in all provinces and such farms should be established as rapidly 
AS funds and staff permit (paragraph 103). 

(53) The establishment of seed farms for crops such as millets, 
pulses and oil-seeds must proceed pari passu with the evolution 
of pure or improved strains (paragraph 103). 

(54) Whilst material assistance in regard to seed distribution should 
<be rendered to the agricultural departments by the co-operative 
movement and by well managed associations of cultivators, the 
burden on those departments will remain a heavy one, and a separate 
organisation within the department for seed distribution and seed 
testing is accordingly recommended (paragraph 103). 

(55) This organisation should be in charge of a deputy director 
working under the Director of Agriculture (paragraph 103). 

(5G) The work of seed distribution should, in normal circumstances, 
be self-supporting (paragraph 103). 

(57) The financial rules governing the transactions connected with 
seed distribution should be so framed as to admit of the greatest 
possible turnover of seed during the year (paragraph 103). 

(58) Continued research and experiment on rotations and methods 
of tillage are required but the more important problem in regard to 
methods of tillage is that of bringing home to the cultivator knowledge 
which is already available (paragraph 104). 

(59) In so far as cost is a deterrent to the adoption of even 
comparatively inexpensive implements, the agricultural departments 
would do well to consider the possibilities of mass production of the 
wooden parts of such implements (paragraph 105). 

(60) The agricultural engineering sections of the agricultural depart- 
ments should be completely reorganised and should be, in all respects, 
integral parts of the departments (paragraph 106). 

(61) In all provinces in which pumping and boring operations are 
in progress on a considerable scale, the engineering section should 
be divided into two branches, one for work on agricultural 
machinery and implements and the other for pumping and boring 
(paragraph 106). 

(62) Work on water-lifts should be entrusted to that branch of the 
engineering section from which it is likely to receive the greatest 
attention. In provinces where wells are numerous, it might be 
desirable to entrust the work to a separate branch (paragraph 106). 

(63) All branches of the agricultural engineering section should be 
under the control of a senior engineer who would himself be under the 
general control of the Director of Agriculture (paragraph 106). 

(64) The officer in charge of the work on agricultural machinery and 
implements should be primarily an engineer and secondarily a fanner 
(paragraph 106). 

(65) The relation of the capacity of the draught cattle in India to 
the implements they are required to draw is a problem which requires 
investigation (paragraph 107). 


(66) Exhaustive trials under the cultivator's conditions should be 
carried out in order to test the comparative merits of the country 
and the inversion plough (paragraph 107). 

(67) The aim of the agricultural departments should be the^evolu- 
tion of a small Dumber of types of implements and machinery suitable 
for a wide range of conditions and suitable also for mass production 
(paragraph 107). 

(68) A thorough investigation into the economics of power culti- 
vation is specially called for in the Central Provinces with a view 
to the possibility of reclaiming areas infested with kans grass 
(paragraph 108). 

(69) Railway freight rates on agricultural machinery and imple- 
ments should be re-examined and, where possible, concessions should 
be given (paragraph 109). 

(70) The claim by manufacturers in India for a rebate of the import 
duty on iron and steel used in the manufacture of agricultural imple- 
ments and machinery should be investigated by the Indian Tariff 
Board (paragraph 1 10). 

(71) The term 4k agricultural implements " in the Tariff Schedule 
should be interpreted in the sense most favourable to the interests of 
the cultivator (paragraph 110). 

(72) Even where the standard of cultivation falls far short of that 
which is desirable, there are a number of improved varieties which 
can be grown with advantage to the cultivator (paragraph 111). 

(73) The agricultural departments should pay greater attention 
to the problems of cultivation in dry and precarious tracts 
(paragraph 112). 

(74) No modification of the rules framed under the Destructive 
Insect and Pests Act is called for (paragraph 113). 

(75) It is desirable that the co-operation of the maritime Indian 
States in preventing the importation of pests and diseases from outside 
India should be secured (paragraph 113). 

(76) Legislation to prevent the importation of pests and diseases 
from India into Burma is desirable. The exact scope of such legislation 
should be examined by a small expert committee (paragraph 1 13). 

(77) The Imperial and provincial entomological and mycological 
staff requires strengthening in certain respects (paragraph 114). 

(78) Legislation on the lines of the Madras Agricultural Pests and 
Diseases Act should be enacted in other provinces (paragraph 1 1 4). 

(79) There has been serious deterioration of Punjab cotton as the 
result of the mixing of seed in the ginning factories but this and other 
questions affecting Indian cotton are being adequately dealt with by 
the Indian Central Cotton Committee (paragraph 115). 

(80) The grant of gun licenses on a more liberal scale appears the 
most effective method of dealing with the damage done to crops and 


cattle by wild animals but the agricultural departments should 
endeavour to discover a cheap and efficient method of fencing 
(paragraph 116). 

(&4) There is no evidence that the interests of the cultivator are 
being sacrificed to the interests of sport, but the practice in regard to 
the grant of permits to shoot destructive animals in reserved forests 
should be reviewed (paragraph 116). 




118. For several years past, much attention has been paid to the 
SCOPE OF THK subject of the subdivision of holdings of agricul- 
oii \PTEU. tural land and to the connected subject of the 

fragmentation of these holdings. Inasmuch as we are here concerned 
with a sub-continent within which are to be found a great variety oi 
tenures, and almost every possible grade between the large landed pro 
prietor with complete rights in the soil and the agricultural labourer with 
some sort of hereditary attachment to the fields of particular cultivators, 
it is necessary that the terms we propose to use should be defined 
with some precision. By " subdivision " we mean the distribution of 
the land of a common ancestor amongst his successors in interest, usually 
in accordance with the laws of inheritance, biit sometimes effected by 
voluntary transfers amongst the living by sale, gift or otherwise. Thus, 
a man holding twelve acres and having four sons may be succeeded by 
the four sons, each holding three acres ; if three of these sons leave two 
sons apiece and the other die childless, the -next generation may show six 
grandsons each holding two acres. But if the childless holder had sold 
his land, for instance, to a moneylender, there would be six grandsons 
with one-and-a-half acres each, and a moneylender with three acres. 
There are other causes contributing to the process, but subdivision 
includes the general result of an increase of holders within a family 
or community. 

Fragmentation is quite different from subdivision and refers to the 
manner in which the land held by an individual (or undivided family) 
is scattered throughout the village area in plots separated by land in 
the possession of others. If all the fields held by an individual are 
contiguous so t^tat he can pass from the one to the other without travers- 
ing any land but his own, his holding is said to be compact ; and if this 
feature has been brought about by design, it is said to be cpjisolidated. 
In the illustration given above, if the first son had his three acres in 
twenty different places, his holding w r ould be said to be fragmented ; 
if the second son had inherited his land in one place, it would be 
called compact ; if the third son had had his inheritance in twenty 
different places, but by process of barter and exchange had succeeded hi 
getting it in one place, he would be said to have consolidated it. 

The discussion on this subject has centred round the areas possessed 
by persons with some kind of permanent right in the land. Unfortunately, 
where systems of tenure are so diverse, it is not easy to find a term 
which without definition will suit all cases. In this chapter, we propose 
to use the term right-bolder to denote those who possess some permanent 
MO Y 286 9 


hereditary right in land, whether as owner, occupancy tenant O r patta 
h,pj<ler ; the common link is the possession of a right, the inheritance to 
which is governed by law or by custom having the force, of law, and 
which, therefore, cannot be altered except by the enactment of some new 
law. Those possessing no permanent hereditary rights are here called 
tenants ; it is true that many hold from generation to generation and 
even follow the ordinary law of inheritance in the w division of a tenancy 
on the death of a holder, but such succession is no more than a custo- 
mary continuation of cultivation subject to the landlord's admitted right 
to evict and to rent to whomsoever he pleases. To alter the allotment 
of land to such people does not require any change in law. The term 
" cultivator " is used to denote all who cultivate land in any of the 
above capacities, whether as owner, patta holder, occupancy tenant or 
tenant-at-will, or lessee, but not as hired labourer. 

There are many right-holders who do not cultivate all the land held 
in permanent right, but let to others, who may be either right-holders in 
other land or not ; there are many right-holders, including some of these 
just mentioned, who take land on rent as tenants-at-will ; there are all 
grades between the big landlords who hold but do not cultivate and the 
small tenants who rent from year to year without any permanent right. 
The subject of the subdivision of areas held by right-holders is different 
from that of the subdivision of areas in the possession of cultivators 
who may or may not hold permanent rights in any part of the land they 
cultivate ; but the questions are simplified in some respects and com- 
plicated in others by the fact that, in most provinces, the actual 
cultivators have permanent rights in part at least of the area they 
cultivate. One result ia that subdivision of right-holders' holdings tends 
tp be reflected in a corresponding subdivision of the area cultivated* 
This makes for simplicity : another result, however, is that any scheme 
for correction of subdivision of right-holders' holdings will not itself 
suffice to correct the subdivibion of cultivators' holdings. The introduc- 
tion of the rule of primogeniture, for instance, would put a stop to much 
further subdivision of right-holders' holdings, but it would not atop the 
subdivision of cultivators' holdings. 

Similarly, the fragmentation of the holding of a rigkt-holder tends 
to be reflected in the fragmentation of cultivation ; but there is frag- 
mentation of cultivation even on large compact estates. A right- 
holder with six or eight scattered plots may cultivate all of those 
pilots but, in the alternative, he may cultivate only some and rent the 
rest, or cultivate all and still take more on rent, or, if he is a non- 
agriculturist, he may cultivate none and give all on rent to one or 
more tenants. 

In most discussions, the evila arising from subdivision and fragmenta- 
tion of holdings are ascribed to difficulties of cultivation ; but the sub- 
division of right-holders' holdings is apt to be carried to such an extent 
that the resultant holdings become too small to maintain the right- 
holder and his family in a standard of comfort vaguely described 
as " reasonable, " and the term " uneconomic holding " appears in 


discussions without reference to whether the holder can get extra land 
on rent or not. 

S There are thus four_distinct problems to be dealt with : 
(a) the subdivision of holdings of right-holders, 

(6) the subdivision of holdings of cultivators, who may or may not 
be right-holders of the whole or part of the land they cultivate, 

(c) the fragmentation of the holdings of right-holders, and 

(d) the fragmentation of the holdings of cultivators. 

Except where large owners predominate, the greater part of the laud is 
cultivated by right-holders, and accordingly in this chapter we are 
chiefly concerned with their problems ; but it must not be forgotten 
that, even in tracts where peasant proprietors or ryots prevail, a large 
proportion of the land, approaching one-half, is cultivated by persons 
in tenant right only, although these may for the most part be themselves 
proprietors or ryots of other land in the immediate neighbourhood. 

119. The subdivision of the holdings of permanent right-holders is 
( SUBDIVISION OF chiefly due to the laws of inheritance customary 
?t^J? S T f,f f " amongst Hindus and Muhamniadans, which, except 

f .MANKrlT KIQHT-HOL- *-* TT* t *i 

DERS. where the Hindu joint family system is in operation, 

enjoin the succession to immovable property by all the heirs, usually 
in equal shares. But the acquisition of land by moneylenders and 
others has accentuated the evil by creating a number of petty holdings 
and by reducing the total left to be divided amongst the heirs. There 
is, also, apart from visitations of famine and pestilence, a general 
tendency over most of India for the population to increase and, therefore, 
f of the number of right-holders to increase. The effects of this may be 
offset by an increase of cultivation either from the expansion of the area 
in the home villages or by the colonisation of extensive tracts such as 
has been made possible m the Punjab by the construction of large irriga- 
tion works. In that province, the area of cultivated land held by each 
owner is increasing on the whole, although in numerous villages there 
is a tendency in the opposite direction. There are tracts in which there 
has been a decline in both population and in cultivated areas and, where 
the decline in population exceeds that of cultivation, there, is a tendency 
for the average area of cultivated land per cultivator to increase, but, 
as right-holders who fdfrsake their villages to seek employment in the 
towns usually retain their rightb in their land, it is not so clear that the 
average area of cultivated land per right-holder is on the increase. . 

Mere averages may prove misleading. An increase in the number of 
right -holders would usually lead to a reduction in the average area held by 
each right -holder, but, in some cases, the reduction may be due to the 
intrusion of new petty holders, while the ancestral holders retain their 
position. In the village of Bairampur in the Punjab, Mr. Rainlal Bhalla* 
found that, in the period from 1885-86 to 1918-19, the number of Jat 
owners had increased from 48 to 49 and their land had only slightly 

*Report on an Economic Survey of Bairampur (Punjab Board of Economic Inquiry). 
MO Y 286 9a 


decreased from an average of 5 1 acres to 4 * 9, but, in the same period, the 
number of non-agriculturist owners, such as moneylenders, had increased 
from 3 to 18, and their small plots brought down the village average 
of land owned per owner from 4 '9 acres in 1885-86 to 3*6 acres 
in 1918-19. 

The non-official " Social and Economic Survey of a Konkan Village "* 
records that of a eulturable area in the village of 192 acres, 24 non-agri- 
culturists own 1 1 3 acres, or an average of 4 71 acres, while 28 agriculturists 
own 78 acres or an average of 2 '85 acres. Almost all the acquisitions 
by mm-agriculturists hml boon effected within the last fifty or sixty 
years on account of the indebtedness of the did ryots, w who ^tvere 
forced t<> dispossess themselves of their rights in their ancestral 

lands and hand them over to the present owners, most of whom 

are shrewd ,so?/Yvm* from the neighbouring parts. " 

Dr. Mann, in his detailed inquiries into the villages of Pnnpla Soudagar 
and Jiitegaon Budruk,f found that the number of landholders had, fluc- 
tuated throughout a century or more but that, as conditions became 
more set-tied, the tendency was towards increase with the consequent 
development of subdivision. Mr. Keatinge has expressed the opinion 
that " the agricultural holdings of the Bombay Presidency have to a large 
extent been reduced to a condition in which their effective cultivation is 
impossible " and Dr. Slater found that similar conditions prevailed in 
parts of Madras. In other provinces, conditions are much the same, 
except in Burma, where there is still a large area of culturable land avail- 
able, but even m that province, the proportion of holdings under five 
acres is 55 per cent in Lower and 62 in Upper Burma. 

The most complete figures for the size of holdings have been prepared 
for the Punjab as the lesult of a special inquiry into 2,397 villages scat- 
tered throughout the province. This disclosed that 17 *9 per cent of the 
.owners' holdings were under one acre ; a further 25*5 per cent were bet- 
ween one and three acres ; 14 '9 per cent between three and five acres, 
and a further 18 per cent between five and ten acres. 

The holdings under one acre were the subject of special inquiry ; a 
large number are agricultural holdings ; otheis are the result of gifts, 
to Brahmins, or to village menials ; others again represent petty acquisi- 
tions by non-agriculturists. 

No other province has supplied similar statistics but Madras ftnd 
Bombay classify their holdings and it appears that an inquiry on the 
lines followed in the Punjab would not disclose results markedly different. 
The average area held by right-holders is small, and there are a very large 
number of such holdings under two or three acres. The proportion of 
holdings under one acre is high ; in Pnnpla Soudagar, Dr. Mann found 
9 per cent and in Jategaon Budrnk 5| per cent under one acre. 
In the Konknn village above referred to, twelve out of the fifty-two 

*A [Social and Economic Sm\c\ of a Konkan Village by V. G Ranado. (The 
Provincial Oo-opcrati\c Institute, Bombay, Kural Economics Scries, No. 3.) 

fLand and Labour in a Dcccnn \illagc. Vmveibity of Bombay, Economic Sene.% 
Nos. I and III. 


holdings were below one acre. In a description of the " Economic ^ 
in a Malabar Village," * it is stated that 34 per cent of the holdings in " 
the village investigated were under one acre. 

120. Th^subdivision of cultivation differs somewhat from that of 

right-holders' holdings inasmuch as many right- 
OF holders do not cultivate at all and many more 

. J 

cultivate only part oi their land, while there is an 
undeteiffliined number of landless cultivators in every province. ' Here 
we aopfspeaking of those who cultivate only, irrespective of the nature 
of tlpfmterest in the land they till ; in number they exceed the number 
of right-holders, as there are generally more cultivators with no permanent 
rights than permanent right -holders who do not cultivate. The result 
is that subdivision is more pronounced amongst cultivators^ The Punjab 
figures, which are the only ones available lor a province, indicate that 
22 *5 per cent of the cultivators cultivate one acre or less ; a further 15 '1 
per cent cultivate between one and two-and-a-half acres ; 17 '9 per cent 
between two-and-a-half and tive acres and 20 '5 between five and ten 
acres. Except for Bombay, which would probably show a very similar 
result, and Burma which would give higher averages, all other provinces 
have much smaller average areas per cultivator. In the Census Report 
for India (1921), the number of cultivated acres per cultivator is given as 
follows : 

Bombay * . . 12 '2 Madras .. 4 '9 

Punjab .. 9-2 Bengal .. 3'1 

Central Provinces Bihar and Orissa . . 3*1 

and Berar .. 8*5 Assam .. .. 3*0 

Burma .. 5'G United Provinces .. 2*5 

The figures -are probably not strictly accurate but they serve to 
indicate the extent to which subdivision has proceeded amongst 
cultivators' holdings. Conditions in Burma are probably better than 
the above figure would suggest, but the average is not above twelve 

The subdivision amongst cultivators is a reflection of conditions exist- 
ing amongst permanent right-holders, but it is aggravated by the lack 
of alternative means of livelihood which drives multitudes to grow food 
foi^bare subsistence. Undoubtedly, many of the smallest cultivators 
are really in the position of allotment holders, cultivating tiny plots to 
eke out their earnings from industiy or trade. In this case, purchases 
by moneylenders do not appreciably affect the figures as this class does 
not usually cultivate but leases its acquisitions to tenants. 

121. (Fragmentation amongst right-holders' holdings is chiefly due, 
FRAGMENTATION OF Jlot to ^ ie ^ aws of inheritance but to the customary 

RIGHT-HOLDERS' HOLD- method by which the law as to division of property 
INGS * amongst the heirs is carried into effect. ' The 

distinction becomes important when we come to discuss proposals ( for 

* By S. Subbarama Aiyar, M.A., University of Madras, Economic Series, No. II. 
The Bangaloro Printing and Publishing Co., Ltd., Bangalore City, J925. 


legislation designed to check the evil, for it is one thing to alter a method 
of partition and quite another to alter the law on which the partition 
is based.J The custom in dividing property amongst heirs is to give to 
each heir a proportionate share of each item of the inherited property 
and not a share of the whole equivalent to his portion. ( Thus, if a father 
with three isolated fields of one acre each, dies leaving three sons, the 
latter will take not one field each but one-third of each field each^ The 
custom is due to the fact that each plot of land may vary in (juality, 
and so, to secure an equitable division, each plot must be divided ; each 
heir seeks to ensure his getting a portion of the best land even if this 
involves his taking a share of the worst. (In the result, successive genera- 
tions descending from a common ancestor inherit not only smaller and 
smaller shares of his land (subdivision) but inherit that land broken 
up into smaller and smaller plots. J) This continuous partition of each 
field amongst heirs leads to whaf is known as fragmentation, as the 
holding inherited is scattered throughout the village area. Fragmenta- 
tion is accentuated by tke expansion of cultivation irregularly over the 
waste, by purchases and sales, and by the extinction of families in default 
of direct heirs and the division of their property amongst a large number 
of distant relatives. It has been also the result of the break up of "the 
joint family system and its custom of cultivation in Common. In parts 
of Madias, fragmentation has not proceeded as far as elsewhere. The 
reason for this would seem to be that the joint family system has 
survived to a greater extent in that province than in any other. In 
Berar. we were told that fragmentation was not acute but no adequate 
reason was given. In extreme cases, the result is ludicrous : in 
Ratnagiri, for instance, the size of individual plots is sometimes as small 
as 1/lGOth of an acre, or 30 J square yards ; in the Punjab, fields *have 
been found over a mile*long and but A few yards wide, while areas Jiave 
been brought to notice where fragmentation has been carried so far as 
effectively to prevent all attempts at cultivation. 

'.Where the soil is of uniform quality or where the differences in quality 
are not great, fragmentation is an evil of the first magnitude} Of 
Bombay, Mr. Keatinge wrote that it "is an unmitigated evil for which 
no advantages can be claimed " ; and Dr. Mann in >Pimpla Soudagar 
found fragmentation "to be a disadvantage without any redeeming 
quality." In a village in the Punjab, an owner was found with his 
land in two hundred different places whilst, in the same village, tliere 
were five owners with over one hundred plots each. (But where the soil 
varies markedly in quality, moderate fragmentation finds defenders } 
each holder secures land of different qualities and is thus in a position 
to produce a greater variety of crops and to find occupation for more 
days in the year than he could on a compact homogeneous block. Such 
an argument can only hold where the number of blocks does not exceed 
the number of distinct varieties of soil, and, in general, fragmentation 
beyond this is a serious evil, (hi the Punjab, the results of consolidation 
indicate that five per cent of the land which would normally be cultivated 
is lying useless owing to fragmentation being so excessive as to prevent 
any agricultural operations, while another one per cent is lost in 


boundaries wfyich could be abolished on consolidation. (,Even where culti- 
vation is possible, fragmentation involves endless waste of time, money 
and effort ; it restrains the cultivators from attempting improvements ; 
it enforces uniformity of cropping, and especially restricts the growing 
of fodder crops in the period when cattle are usually sent out to graze 
on the fields. The total effects are great and it is only when the burden 
is removed that the full results this evil practice has produced are 

122. Fragmentation of cultivation is a far worse evil than fragmenta- 

tion of the land of permanent right -holders. It is 
FRAGMENTATION OF a i so m uch more extensive and has been carried to 

greater extremes. The smaller right-holder attempts 
to secure any addition he can to his scanty holding wherever it may be 
situated; the tenant class, unable to rent all they wish from single owners, 
search the village for more. In Pimpla Soudagar, Dr. Mann found that 
62 per cent of the cultivators' plots were below one acre, and in Jategaon 
the percentage was 31. In Bairampur, Mr. Bhalla found that 34 '5 per 
cent of the cultivators had over 25 fragments each. Other village 
inquiries have yielded evidence to the same effect. The stronger owners 
attempt to keep in their own hands land near to their largest block and 
rent the rest, but the weaker must take what they can. The evil of 
fragmentation of cultivation is not limited by the joint family system ; 
in Madras, where fragmentation of right -holders' holdings ia not so acute 
as elsewhere, the existence of one-and-a-half million tenants must result 
in 'much dispersal of cultivation. 

Although tenants may hold on a yearly lease or contract only, it is 
usual for them to cultivate the same land for long periods and even from 
generation to generation ; the result is a considerable amount of 
fragmentation even where there is no legal , obstacle in the way of the 
large owner who wishes to consolidate the cultivation of his tenants. 
This matter is important because, although the majority of right-holders 
possess only small holdings, a large part of the cultivated land is 
possessed by right-holders who rent to tenants. 

123. The facts that the greater proportion of right-holders cultivate 

their own land, that some rent a part or whole of 
REMEDIAL MEASURES, 'it to tenants, and that others take extra land on 
* r&it from their neighbours, all contribute to produce 
an element of confusion in the discussion of the evils of subdivision and 
fragmentation and of the proposed remedies. Further complication is 
intnxjuced by the fact that the revenue records are more concerned with 
revenue payment than with tenants paying only rents, with the result 
that accurate information as to the landless tenant class is difficult to 
secure.. - It is generally tacitly assumed that, if subdivision amongst 
right-holders could be stopped, then further subdivision of cultivation 
would cease and that, if fragmentation of the holdings of these right- 
holders could be abolished by consolidation, then fragmentation of 
cultivation would disappear. From what has been said, it will be seen 


that these assumptions should not be accepted unless they are based 
upon detailed enquiries such as have been made in the Punjab but not 
at all elsewhere. 

Furthermore, it must be remembered that figures alone do not 
necessarily afford a tme picture of the economic situation. For instance, 
if, at one time, three brothers own jointly nine acres but later partition 
their holding into equal shares, the relative economic position of the 
three brothers is not altered while the figures tor subdivision have 
undergone a change. 

Various attempts have been made to cope with the problems arising 
from subdivision and fragmentation of holdings. In BomBay, it was 
at one time thought that if partitions resulting in holdings below a certain 
limit wore ignored in the revenue papers, this would act as a deterrent 
against such partitions being made in practice. This merely meant that 
Government did not recognise division of land beyond the fixed minima 
for the purpose ol their record. The occupants were not legally debarred 
from actually dividing the land beyond the minima and holding it in 
separate plots, arid the law courts freely recognised such divisions for 
the purposes of all suits before them. The result, we were told,-was 
that, in a short tune, the records bore no resemblance to the facts aad the 
authorities had to adopt a completely new system of records. 

In'the Punjab canal colonies, subdivision has been checked by restric- 
tions on alienation, and, in the case of certain grants, by the limitation of 
succession to a single heir ; so far as right-holders are concerned, 'the 
policy has proved successful, but it has not served to prevent joint 
cultivation or even subdivison of cultivation ; the single heir,, when 'the 
elder brother, is not in a position to refuse a livelihood to lus younger 
brothers even though he cannot give legal rights in the land. Subdivision 
is retarded wherever restrictions on the alienation of land a?e imposed ; 
we have already mentioned the case of the Konkan village in Bombay 
where increasing subdivision was due, in part at least, to acquisitions by 
moneylenders, and that of Bairampur where non-agriculturists began to 
acquire land, but were stopped from further purchases by the Alienation 
of Land Act and so subdivided amongst themselves, the agriculturist 
owners maintaining their average holding. It nee&a no argument to 
show that if the live million acres which non-agriculturists in the Punjab 
have acquired in the last eighty years had remained in the hands of the 
original owners, the average holding would be rnu|h higher than it is. 

Mr. Keatinge proposed to deal with the evil of subdivision of 
holdings by giving to right-holders in an " economic holding " power 
to register it as such in the name of one right-holder only. The 
Collector was to decide in each particular case what was an economic 
holding and the Bill drafted to give effect to the proposals only^applied 
to holdings which the Collector decided were "economic." 

The draft Bill was purely a permissive measure. The initiative was 
to come from the right-holder, and the right-holders had to agree to 
registration in one name only. On registration as an economic holding, 


the holding became impartible and not liable to further subdivision, 
and was to be held absolutely and in severalty by the one person entitled 
for the time being. Partition or transfer to two or more persons was 
prohibited. Further, every agreement purporting to provide for the 
cultivation or occupation of any economic holding or any part of it by 
more than one/ person was to be void. No penalties were attached, 
but the Collector was to be given summary power to evict anyone in 
possession of any part of an economic holding contrary to the 
provisions of $he Bill. The objections to such a measxfre have been 
well stated by the Madras Board of Revenue : ^ 

(i) fchexe would' be the utmost difficulty in determining what, 
- constitutes an economic holding ; 

(ii) the/#im, was the creation of a vast mass of petty impartible 
holdings all over the country, in defiance of the social system of Hindus 
and Muhammadans alike ; 

(Hi) its operation would, as a rule, be confined to those families 
,which are rich enough to compensate such members as are excluded 
from the economic holding, that is to say, to the very cases in which 
there is the least need for any special arrangements. In so far as 
tjie Bill could be applied to poor families, it must tend to create a 
landless proletariat which is always a danger, and doubly so in a 
country where industries are so little developed that they cannot 
absorb the surplus agricultural population ; 

(iv) it would afford an opportunity to co-sharers to effect collusive 
Registration thereunder for the purpose of defrauding creditors ; 

(v) its general effect would be to impair the credit of the agricultural 
. classes ; 

vi) all transaction* relating to land would be complicated by the 
question whether the condition of impart ibility existed ; 

(vii) it would involve the revenue establishment in troublesome 
and often infructuous inquiries on applications for creating economic 
holdings and on complaints that the rule of impartiality had been 
breached ; & 

(viii) it would undoubtedly prove a fertile source of strife in 
families. . 

In his evidence before us, Mr. Keatinge maintained that there would 
not be any population displaced from the land, but that the land would 
be better tilled and better cultivated and for this more labour would be 
required. Some of those who otherwise might be owners would become 
labourers, buc it would be mainly a change in status and not in 

On a small scale, prohibition of partition and of succession by more 
than ^a single heir has been successful in the case of large landowners 
whose estates have been declared by special Acts to be subject to the 
law of primogeniture ; but such landlords are usually prominent people, 


members of well-known families, and evasion by them would at once be 
brought to light ; moreover, in such rich families, provision for younger 
sons is a practicable proposition, a fact which entirely distinguishes 
their case from that of the majority. 

It would thus appear that interference with subdivision by restrictions 
on alienation has been practicable and successful ; interference with the 
ordinary laws of inheritance has not been tried, except in new colonies 
where special conditions can be attached to new grants or in the case of 
large owners rich enough to provide for the younger brariches ; inter- 
ference with such laws in other cases has been suggested but rejected. 

Other suggestions for dealing with subdivision are the prohibition of 
partition of a holding below a certain size, the compulsory acquisition of 
petty and uneconomic holdings and their distribution to those whose 
holdings would thereby be made " economic," and so on.* It has<been 
suggested that Muhammadans might find relief in the Egyptian custom 
whereby, although the land is nominally divided amongst the heirs, it is 
actually left in the hands of one to cultivate on behalf of the whole 
number, or may be handed to trustees to manage for all, Joint farming 
of the inheritance without partition has been advocated for Hindus. 
The Belgian custom, whereby one heir, usually the eldest son,' buys 
out the rest through the agency of mortgage bonds would, if adopted, 
check both subdivision and fragmentation, but it is not likely to meet 
with favour until more occupations alternative to the cultivation of land 
become available. 

In the evidence given before us, no practical suggestion was put forward 
for the prevention of further subdivision without interfering with the 
laws of inheritance. 

121. The only measure that appears to promise relief from the evils 
CONSOLIDATION OF that arise from fragmentation of right-holders' 
HOLDINGS. holdings is the process which is generally known as 

the consolidation of holdings, though it is in reality the substitution 
by exchange of land of a compact block for a number of scattered 
fragments. By this process, all the land of one holder may be formed 
into one plot only, or into a few plots of different kinds of soil. 

Some very striking results have been achieved on these lines in the* 
Punjab through the agency of the Co-operative Department and we 
found that the experiments which have been made in that province have 
attracted much attention in other provinces which suffer from the same 
evil. Although, for many years, settlement officers in the Punjab had 
made repeated attempts to use their influence to bring about consolida- 
tion, no success was attained and it was not until the scheme now in 
operation was devised that people could be persuaded to give consolida- 
tion a trial. Co-operative officials carry on steady propaganda and 
educate the right-holders in the advantages of the scheme. Meanwhile,, 
a specially selected staff is trained to carry on the work in any village the 
right-holders in which express their readiness to submit their lands to 
the process. It is only where the co-operative spirit ia strong that 
success is hoped for and, to ensure this, the usual co-operative principles 


are observed ; all important matters are decided in general meeting 
and confidence is gained by strict adherence to democratic principles, 
ao that it becomes as important to please the smallest right-holder as 
the largest. To bring the scheme to a successful conclusion, careful 
education in its advantages and unending patience in attending to every 
grievance and dejection and in combating obstinacy and suspicion are 
called for. Failures are many ; months of painstaking work may be 
brought to nalight by the recalcitrancy or obstinacy of one individual 
and, even when the object is ultimately gained, progress is slow. Yet, 
although those in charge of the movement fully realise that compulsion 
will be necessary for a wide extension and that its introduction is, there- 
fore, only a matter of time, they prefer to await the growth and develop- 
ment of a strong public opinion in its favour rather than to incur the 
risk of a premature resort to legislation which might bring the scheme 
into odiuan. A3 the result of patient work which has now extended 
over eight years, the movement for consolidation in the Punjab has 
assumed the dimensions of an important agricultural reform. It is 
steadily gaining in popularity, and, as more staff is trained and the 
people Become better educated to the advantages of the system, the 
figures for the area consolidated are mounting year by year. The total 
area dealt with in the first five years was 39,757 acres ; in the following 
year alone the area consolidated was over 20,000 acres, and last year the 
area was over 38,000 acres. The total staff employed at present is 
8 inspectors and 85 sub-inspectors, and the cost last year was just 
under one lakh of rupees. The cost per acre varies from Rs. 1-6 to 
Rs. 2-11 and will probably decrease as the staff becomes more expert 
and the people more willing. The last official report gave the total area 
consolidated up to July 1927 as 98,000 acres and the number of villages 
dealt with as 314 ; since then the work has been completed in 47 more 
villages, of which 34 were tenants' villages in the Mamdot Estate. In 
all, over 133,000 blocks have been consolidated and their number 
reduced to about 25,300. The average area of each block has increased 
from 0'7 to 3*8 acres. It may, however, be pointed out that, in the 
case 'of the Punjab, consolidation is facilitated by the comparative 
nomogeneity of soil and by simplicity of tenure. 

In the Punjab scheme, no one loses ; everyone receives not less land 
than he held before. No attempt is made to oust holders of petty plots; 
no compulsion is used ; no restrictions are imposed ; and the whole 
process is kept as simple as possible and is easily within the comprehen- 
sion of the right-holders. No one is asked to agree to the re-arrange- 
ment until he has seen his new holding marked out on the ground.* 

4'This work deals with right-holders' holdings only ; it aims at the 
removal of fragmentation, and not at checking subdivision. Inajjauch, 
however, as the land of families is usually brought together, future 
changed due to inheritance will take place within this compact block, 
and it is hoped that, with the lesson once well learnt, heirs will accept 
single parcels instead of several plots. Should future right-holders 

*A detailed account was given by Mr. C. F. Strickland, T.C.S.,in the Agricultural 
Journal of India, March 1927. 


prove to be so blind to their own best interests as to insist upon a renewal 
of fragmentation, the advantages gained through consolidation must 
to this extent be lost. Fragmentation of cultivation is not separately 
dealt with. But experience amply indicates that consolidation of 
cultivation is largely achieved by consolidation of right-holders' lands. 
Where, however, the right-holder owns a large estate, the case for 
consolidation of his tenants' holdings is recognised. Last year, in the 
big estabe ot Mamdot, 12,504 acres of cultivators' holdings were con- 
solidated and the work is being continued. 

We found that the work beimj done in the Punjab was known in other 
provinces and we are definitely of opinion that it should not be regarded 
as unsuited tor adoption elsewhere without very careful arid persistent 
inquiry into the local difficulties. 

125. In the Central Provinces, some success in consolidation has 
been achieved in the Chhattisgarh division without 
PKovfvt i-s Arr' 1 ' 11 * 1 ' anv afls wt;ance from the Co-operative Department; 
an officer has been placed on special duty with a 
small staff which he is training to carry out the work. The difficulties 
are enhanced by complexities of tenure as well a.s by difference** in the 
quality of the soil and it has been found desirable to resort to legisla- 
tion . The Central Provinces Consolidation of Holdings Act has recently 
(1928) been passed by the Legislative Council and will for the present be 
applied to the Chhattisgarh division only. Any two or more permanent 
holders in a village holding together not less than a certain minimum 
prescribed area of land may apply to the consolidation of their holdings 
but the outstanding feature of the Act is that it gives power to a 
proportion, not less than one-half, of the permanent right-holders' 
holding not less than two-thirds of the occupied area in a village to 
agree to the preparation of a scheme of consolidation, which scheme, 
when confirmed, becomes binding on all the permanent right-holders in 
the village and their successors in interest. 

The scheme prepared by the consolidation officer may be confirmed by 
the settlement officer or deputy commissioner if all objections are removed, 
or by the Settlement Commissioner in other cases. No appeal lies but 
the local Government has power to revise. Civil courts are barred from 

The Act is aimed at the consolidation of fragmented holdings, and will 
at the same time achieve consolidation of cultivation to a very large 
extent owing to the high proportion of cultivators who hold permanent 
rights as tenants. It contains the minimum required to facilitate consoji- 
dati<Nfcand possesses the advantages of directness and simplicity. 

In view of conditions in Chhattisgarh which we had opportunities of 
appreciating during our visit, we consider that this legislation should 
prove of value. The proportion of right-holders whose consent is required 
is low, but we understand that it is the intention of the local Government 
to proceed with caution and to gain experience before attempting anything 
like a campaign of compulsory consolidation on a large scale. 


126. The Bombay Government have designed a Bill to deal with 
certain features of this very difficult problem ; 

tte Bil1 has been introduced in tne Legislative 
Council and referred to a select committee ; it is 
thus far from being in its final form and we refrain from offering criticisms 
in regard to points of detail which may already have been met before 
this Report is published. The problem is, however, so important, that 
we may with advantage state what, in our opinion, should be the main 
points in such legislation. 

The need for caution in any attempt to interfere with rights in agricul- 
tural land needs no stressing, and we trust that, in any scheme involving 
the uprooting of people from their ancestral fields, full provision will be 
made for the utmost possible consideration of their opinions and pre- 
judices. The scheme should be free from ambiguity and be formulated in 
as simple language as possible so that it may be understood by the persons 
most closely affected. We recognise that the introduction of an element 
of compulsion may be inevitable ; but compulsion should not be regarded 
as dispensing with the need for the most scrupulous attention to the 
wishes of the people. It would be unsafe to lay down a rigid rule as 
to the majority to be required, but this should be as large as is com- 
patible with successful working of the measure. 

In view of the novelty of such a scheme in present circumstances, we 
think that the element of compulsion should be reserved till the latest 
possible stage, and it will probably be found that the most suitable time 
to resort to this step is when the scheme for consolidation has been fully 
worked out in the closest consultation with the right-holders and when 
every reasonable attempt has been made to reconcile conflicting interests 
and wishes. When all that persuasion, perseverance and skill can do has 
been exhausted and a beneficial scheme of consolidation has been complet- 
ed, we think that compulsion may be applied to secure for the majority 
advantages which an obstinate minority might otherwise withhold. 

We recognise that if any scheme of consolidation is to be final, the civil 
courts must be barred from, jurisdiction on matters arising under the 
special legislation ; but if persons are to be thus deprived of their consti- 
tutional right to seek redress in the civil courts, their interests must be 
carefully safeguarded by provision for consideration of all objections at 
various stages, and by allowing a resort to arbitration and power to 
nominate one arbitrator. 

In our opinion, progress will be more rapid if consolidation is not 
complicated by being combined with other objects, however desirable in 
themselves. But we see no objection to the inclusion in one and the 
same Act of a scheme designed to prevent fragmentation and a scheme 
for the consolidation of holdings. 

The main policy of any government embarking upon a campaign for 
the consolidation of holdings must be to achieve progress by education ; 


compulsion is a supplement to education and not a substitute for it. The 
risks attendant upon the use of compulsion in a matter so vitally affecting 
the ancient rights of the people will be largely diminished if reliance is 
ohiefly placed upon the steady, patient, persuasive education of the right- 
holders, and if compulsion is regarded, not as a regular part of the 
procedure but as a last resort to be applied only when a carefully dra4*n 
up scheme is in danger of being wrecked by a recalcitrant minority. 
When confidence is gained by a judicious application of compulsion and 
the advantages of reconstituted villages with better amenities are seen 
by the people, we trust that the movement will gather force, and that the 
people will themselves demand consolidation, either on a voluntary 
basis or under the law. 

127. In other provinces, the evil effects of subdivision and fragmenta- 
GENERAL RECOM- tion are recognised but measures to cope with them 
MBNIIATIONS. have not yet been decided upon. In several 

provinces, opinion seems to be in favour of action somewhat on the lines 
which have proved so successful in the Punjab. Fragmentation of 
holdings is in many parts of India one of the most important of the factors 
tending to prevent agricultural improvement. There seems to be common 
agreement that its cvrl effects are so great that the administration should 
not rest until a remedy has been found. We strongly hold that the 
initiative should not be left to the spontaneous action of the right-holders 
but that the State should undertake propaganda work, should explore 
the whole situation and should also bear the costs in the early stages. 
Progress may be slower where tenures are more complex or qualities 
of soil more varied, but difficulties should not be allowed to become an 
excuse for inactivity. 

Where it is customary for the landlord to demand a fee on transfer, 
the advisability of reducing, if not entirely remitting the amount on 
consolidation should receive consideration. Where a mutation fee is 
levied for the entry of the results of consolidation in the revenue records, 
this should be remitted. C f are should be taken to see that consolidation 
is not made a ground for enhancement of land revenue at the next 
settlement. * 

We have received much evidence in favour of drastic legislation, but, 
in view of the natural attachment of all cultivators to their land, we 
think that State action in favour of consolidation should be taken 
in guarded manner. As is contemplated in Bombay and the Central 
Provinces, special areas should be selected for notification under a per- 
missive Act and full inquiry should be made by local officers into the 
opinion of the right-holders before any measure of compulsion is enforced. 
Where, as in the Punjab, the consent ot all interested has to be obtained 
before any scheme of consolidation can be ratified, such piecemeal noti- 
fication is not necessary. But if compulsion is to be introduced into 
bhat province also, as some witnesses favoured, we recommend that it be 
imited to villages or tracts where inquiry has shown that the people 
generally are prepared to accept it. 


SUMMARY OF CON- ^8. ^ ne conclusions and recommendations 
CLUSIONS AND in this chapter may be summarised as 


*. (1) The four district problems to be dealt with are : the subdivision 
of the holdings of right-holders ; the subdivision of the holdings of 
cultivators ; the fragmentation of the holdings of right-holders ; 
and the fragmentation of holdings of cultivators (paragraph 118). 

(2) The subdivision of the holdings of permanent right -holders is 
chiefly due to the laws of inheritance customary amongst Hindus and 
Muhammadans (paragraph 119). > * 

(3) In some parts of the country, agricultural holdings have been 
reduced to a condition in which their effective cultivation is impossible 
(paragraph 119). 

(4) The average area held by each right -holder is small, and there 
are a very large number of such holdings under two or three acres 
(paragraph 119). 

(5) Subdivision is more pronounced amongst cultivators than 
amongst right-holders (paragraph 120). 

(6) Subdivision amongst cultivators is aggravated by the lack of 
alternative means of livelihood, which drives multitudes to grow food 
for bare subsistence (paragraph 120). 

(7) Fragmentation amongst right-holders ' holdings is chiefly 
due to the customary method by which the law as to division of 
property amongst heirs is carried into effect (paragraph 121). 

(8) WLere the soil is of uniform quality or where the differences 
are not great, fragmentation is an evil of the first magnitude 
(paragraph 121). 

(9) Fragmentation of cultivation is a far worse evil than the frag- 
mentation of land of permanent right-holders. It is also much more 
extensive and has been carried to greater extremes (paragraph 122). 

(10) Subdivision is retarded where restrictions are imposed on the 
alienation of land (paragraph 123). 

(11) The proposal to form impartible " economic holdings " is open 
to objections (paragraph 123). 

(12) The only measure that appears to promise relief from the evils 
arising from fragmentation of right-holders' holding? is the process 
known as consolidation of holdings (paragraph 124). 

(13) Some very striking results have been achieved on these lines 
in the Punjab through the agency of the Co-operative Department 
(paragraph 124). 

(14) The work being done in the Punjab should not be regarded as 
unjsuited for adoption elsewhere without very careful and persistent 

into the local difficulties (paragraph 124). 


(15) An Act has been passed in the Central Provinces which gives 
power to a proportion of not less than one-half of the permanent right- 
holders holding not less than two-thirds of the occupied area to agree 
to the preparation of a scheme of consolidation, which scheme, when 
confirmed, becomes binding on all the permanent right-holders. This 
legislation should prove of value (paragraph 125). 

(16) Certain principles which should be embodied in any legislation 
designed to promote consolidation are laid down (paragraph 126), 

(17) In several provinces, opinion is in favour of action sorne- 
wiat on the linen followed in the Punjab (paragraph 127) 

(18) The initiative should not be left to the spontaneous action of 
the right-holders, but the State should undertake propaganda work, 
should explore the actual situation, and should also bear the cost in 
the early stages. "Difficulties should not be allowed to become an 
excuse tor inactivity (paragraph 127) 

(19) Fees on transfer and mutation fees should be remitted in cases 
of consolidation, and consolidation should not be made a* ground for 
enhancement of land revenue at the next settlement (paragraph 127). 

(20) State action in favour of consolidation, where it is introduced 
under a permissive Act, should be taken in a guarded manner. 
Special areas should be selected for notification and full enquiry 
should be made into the opinion of the right-holders before any 
measure of compulsion is enforced (paragraph 127.) 



129. Agricultural research can be of no help to the cultivator until its 

results are given to him in a form in which they may 
CHAPTER F THB Become a P art of nis agricultural practice. The 

force of this elementary principle was realised by 
the Board of Agriculture from its inception. The best means of bringing 
improved methods of agriculture to the notice of the cultivator were 
discussed at seven of the meetings of the Board held from 1905 to 1919. 
All the methods of propaganda which were possible in the conditions of 
the time came under review and the reports which were adopted by 
the Board contain many suggestions of great value. The report of 1917 
was made the last of the series. It was felt that the lines of work in 
demonstrating and in disseminating agricultural improvements which 
were likely to lead to success had been more or less determined. 
We cannot but regard the decision to discontinue the review of the 
work done in the provinces in this direction as an unfortunate one. 
The review kept the provinces in touch with methods which had 
proved successful elsewhere, and, by so doing, furnished a most useful 
stimulus to provincial activities. The Board had enunciated many 
principles of the greatest importance which have continued to guide 
the work of the provincial departments up to the present time, but it had 
left unsettled one or two important problems such as the comparative 
value of demonstration farms and demonstration plots and the extent 
to which {he agricultural departments can use organised bodies to 
further their propaganda work. Moreover, the experience gained during 
the war has shown that there is no finality about methods of 
propaganda. It is plain that the possibilities of the cinema and of 
wireless could not have come within the purview of the Board in 
its early days. 

The field for demonstration and propaganda is as vast as that which 
remains for agricultural research. The area under improved crops 
can now be measured in millions of acres and the land tilled by 
improved implements in hundreds of thousands ; yet the ajea on which 
these improvements have been adopted is but a small fraction of the 
total cultivated area of India. We propose in this chapter to discuss 
how, and to what extent, the agricultural departments can hope to 
reach the small and the large landholder through their own staff and the 
assistance which they may expect to receive from organised associations 
in their work of popularising agricultural improvements. 

130. The agricultural departments, throughout their existence, have 
ESSENTIALS FOB no ^ failed to realise that, in a country in which 

SUCCESSFUL DEMON- illiteracy is widespread as it is in India, the only 
STBATION. hope of convincing the cultivating classes of the 

advantages of agricultural improvement is by ocular demonstration. 
MO Y 28610 


As Mr. and Mrs. Howard have recently pointed out, the extent to which 
the agricultural advance of India has been hampered by the illiteracy of 
the cultivator will be realised " if the spread of the new varieties of Pusa 
wheat is compared with that of Marquis in Canada and the northern 
States of the Union. As regards the degree of improvement there can be 
no question. The Pusa varieties are a much greater advance on the 
average types grown in India than Marquis is above the kinds it replaced 
in North America. In fifteen years, the Pusa wheats have covered a 
little over 2,000,000 acres. In about the same period, the area under 
Marquis has exceeded 20,000,000 acres*. " Hitherto, the departments 
have had mainly to rely on their own staff to push the improvements 
they have been in a position to recommend and the strength of the staff 
employed on this work has continued steadily to increase. They have 
also never lost sight of the essentials to successful demonstration work. 
These have been stated, time and again, in the reports adopted by the 
Board of Agriculture and elsewhere, but it is, perhaps, worth while to 
repeat them here. The improvement must be thoroughly tested on a 
government farm, before it is recommended for general adoption. It 
must be within the means of the cultivator to whom it is recom- 
mended. It is this latter consideration which, as we have pointed 
out in Chapter IV, has made the spread of improved varieties 
of crops far more rapid than that of improved implements. The 
improvement demonstrated must mean a substantial financial advantage 
to the cultivator, either in the shape of increased outturn or in that of 
reduction of his cultivation expenses. When demonstrating the 
advantages of improved seeds or implements or of using artificial 
manures, arrangements must be made to enable the cultivator to obtain 
them without any difficulty. The demonstration must be given by an 
officer who not only possesses experience ; he must also have the ability 
to win the confidence of those amongst whom he is working. There is 
reason to believe that, in respect of this last essential, practice has not 
always been in accordance with principle. Heavy demands upon a 
limited staff have occasionally led to officers being employed on 
demonstration and propaganda work immediately on appointment. 
Demonstration and propaganda carried out by such officers is calculated 
to do more harm than good and we cannot believe that their employment 
on such work can, in any circumstances, be justified. We consider that 
u remiit vshould not be employed on work which brings him into direct 
contact with the cultivator until his capacity for such work has been 
gauged by considerable practical experience. We revert to this point 
in Chapter XV, paragraph 476. The several methods of propaganda 
employed, their relative cost and the claim of each upon the time of the 
staff should be frequently reviewed in the light of recorded results. A 
constant adjustment of practice to meet changing conditions, and a 
readings? to abandon any method proved by experience to be ineffective, 
are essential to efficiency with economy. 

* Indian Agriculture (Vol. VIII in the " India of To-day " series). 


131. We found almost unanimous agreement, amongst both official 
THE DEMONSTRA- an< ^ non-official witnesses, that by far the best and 
TION FARM AND THE quickest method of influencing the practice of the 
DEMONSTRATION PLOT. cu jtivator is to demonstrate an improvement in 
crop or method on a small plot cultivated under departmental control 
or direction. Even the Director of Agriculture in the United Provinces 
who expressed a preference for the demonstration farm, that is for a farm 
with suitable buildings and of fairly large area, in the permanent possession 
of the Agricultural Department, admitted that the work done on such a 
farm was slower in influencing the cultivators than demonstration on 
their own land. The main objection to the demonstration farm is the 
ingrained suspicion of the cultivator that the methods by which it is 
cultivated are not applicable to his means and conditions. He sees the 
farm buildings, which are often of a somewhat elaborate character, the 
superior cattle, the up-to-date implements and the careful lay-out, 
and not unnaturally concludes that the results obtained are largely due 
to the capital sunk m these and that the methods adopted are entirely 
beyond his means. He has no way of making certain for himself 
that the superior yields secured on such a farm are not due to the 
soil being more fertile than that of his holding. This, though the most- 
important, is not the only objection to the demonstration farm. Its 
influence m the nature of things is very limited and can only reach the 
cultivators in its immediate neighbourhood. These cultivators may in 
their turn influence others but the process is a slow one. Again, there 
is always the possibility that the site of a demonstration farm may be 
badly selected and that, by the time the mistake is discovered, so much 
capital may have been sunk in the acquisition and development of the 
land and in the erection of buildings on it that the department may be 
unwilling to admit that the farm is not suitable for the purpose for which 
it was intended. 

Demonstration on the cultivator's own land is open to none of the 
objections which can be urged against the demonstration farm. It is 
for this reason that the agricultural departments in Bombay, Burma 
and Madras have decided to pm their faith entirely to the demonstration 
plot. Even in Bengal, the United Provinces and the Punjab, where 
demonstration farms are numerous and the policy is to increase their 
number, the advantages of the demonstration plot are fully recognised 
and this method of popularising agricultural improvements is extensively 
adopted. They are also recognised in the Central Provinces, where the 
so-called " seed and demonstration farms " have been established, 
primarily for the multiplication of pure seed and, only secondarily, for 
demonstration purposes. 

We entirely approve the policy, which has been adopted in present con- 
ditions by the agricultural departments in Bombay, Burma and Madras, 
of concentrating the demonstration work on the demonstration plot in 
preference to the demonstration farm. We hold that this is the method 
best calculated to enable the departments to reach the largest number 
of small cultivators in the shortest time and that such staff and funds 
as are available for demonstration work are much better employed in this 
MO Y 286 10a 


way than on the establishment and maintenance of permanent demonstra- 
tion farms. The main argument in favour of demonstration farms \\hich 
was adduced in the United Provinces was that the zamindar, who is 
contemplating capitalistic farming, is more influenced by a well run 
demonstration farm than by anything else. From this point of view, it 
would seem that the demonstration farms in the United Provinces have 
served a useful purpose. We were informed that, twenty years ago, no 
large zamindar in the province had a farm of his own. There are now 
over 600 privately owned farms which are managed with the assistance 
of the Agricultural Department. None the less, we are inclined to doubt 
whether the establishment of demonstration farms on the scale on which 
they have been established m the United Provinces, where there are now 
eighteen of them, has not involved some sacrifice of the interests of the 
smaller landholder to those of the large zamindar. The policy is that 
such farms should pay their way but, even where they have done so, 
they have meant the locking up of staff, the activities of which could 
have covered a much larger area, if it had been employed in supervising 
demonstration plots rather than in running demonstration farms. It is 
open to question whether the possibilities of capitalistic farming require 
demonstration on the scale adopted in the United Provinces. The 
existence of two or three farms for this special purpose would seem 
sufficient. The zamindar, who is in a position to take up commercial 
farming, should riot require to be convinced of its possibilities by the 
establishment of a farm at his door. Distance does not present the 
same obstacle to him as it does to the small cultivator and he is 
intelligent enough to appreciate the force of arguments based on balance 
sheets. We, therefore, recommend that the policy adopted in the United 
Provinces in regard to the establishment of demonstration farms 
should be re-examined from this point of view. 

A somewhat different argument in favour of the demonstration farm 
was adduced in the Punjab. There, we were informed that the establish- 
ment of such farms was desirable as they constituted definite centres to 
which landholders could go for, supplies of implements and seeds. 
The staff of the Agricultural Department could also carry out on them 
demonstrations of work, which could not be easily done on the 
cultivator's fields at times and seasons which were convenient 
to them and to him. We agree that there is considerable force in 
this argument. There is much to be said for the establishment 
of a small farm with inexpensive buildings in each district, and 
later on in each tehsil or taluk, as a focus for the propagandist 
activities of the agricultural department in the tract. Such a farm, in 
addition to serving as a centre for the distribution of improved imple- 
ments and seeds and for demonstration work which could not be con- 
veniently carried out on the cultivator's own fields, would be the natural 
centre for the short courses for cultivators which we regard as a most 
valuable means of propaganda. But, in present conditions, we cannot 
but regard farms of this character as somewhat of a luxury. Wo 
would repeat that, in our view, the staff and funds available can be 
much more usefully employed in demonstration on the cultivator's. 


own fields than on such farms. The district and tehsil farms can come 
later as staff expands and funds permit. We are, therefore, strongly of 
opinion that the programme of expansion in the Punjab should be 
examined with a view to ascertaining whether a large proportion, if not 
the whole, of the amount provided for district and tehsil farms should 
not be devoted to the expansion of demonstration work on the cultivator's 
own fields. This programme involves an expenditure on district farms 
of Rs. 17*65 lakhs, capital and recurring, during the next five years and 
a recurring expenditure thereafter of approximately one lakh of 
rupees ; and on tehsil farms a corresponding expenditure of Rs. 12 
lakhs and Rs. 74,000 respectively. We are, further, of opinion that no 
more farms solely for demonstration purposes should be opened in Bengal, 
until demonstration work on the cultivator's own fields has been 
expanded to a much larger extent. We make no recommendation in 
regard to the closure of the existing demonstration farms as the 
desirability of this step must depend upon the local conditions. We 
would add that we see 110 objection to the establishment of demonstration 
farms for a special purpose such, for example, as that of demonstrating 
the advantages of using a particular method of curing tobacco or of a 
small plant for making white sugar or high quality guv. In other words, 
we realise the necessity for special farms for demonstrations which 
involve industrial as well as agricultural operations. 

132. It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to explain that our strong pre- 
THE USE OF BXPKM- fereiice ^ tne demonstration plot over the demon- 

MENTAL ITARMS FOR stration farm does not imply any disapproval of 
DEMONSTRATION farms established for the purpose of carrying out 

WORK ' experiments such, for example, as the testing of new 

varieties before they are given out to the cultivator, or of farms established 
for the purpose of multiplying improved seed. We have considered the 
quastion whether the oxperirnental farm should be utilised for 
demonstration work, thus enabling it to serve a dual purpose. We 
regard this combination of functions as undesirable. The conditions 
imposed by the experimental character of the work carried out on 
such farms are often of such a nature as to render the practices 
followed on them inapplicable to ordinary cultivators. The demands 
of demonstration work might also make undesirable inroads upon the 
time of the staff. We are. therefore, of opinion that experimental 
farms should be confined to the purpose for which they are intended. 
We make one reservation. There may be, on experimental farms, areas 
of land unsuitable for experiments or of land which is being held over 
for experimental work at a later season. In such circumstances, there 
would be no objection to demonstrations which did not interfere with 
experimental work. 

133. The objections to the utilisation of experimental farms 
THE USE OF DEPART- * or demonstration work do not apply to seed farms. 

MENTAL SEED FARMS In Chapter IV, we have described the organisations 

FOR DEMONSTRATION f or the distribution of seed of improved varieties 

which have been built up in the various provinces. 

We have pointed out that, whilst the agricultural departments should be 


able to look, in increasing measure, to co-operative and other organisations 
for assistance in the distribution of seed, they must, for a long time to 
come, depend mainly on their own exertions for the development of this 
work. We have expressed the view that a considerable increase in the 
number of such farms, both departmental and private, is very desirable in 
ail provinces and that such farms should be established as rapidly as 
funds permit. There is no branch of the activities of the agricultural 
departments which brings them in closer touch with the cultivator than 
the distribution of pure seed. This is work which is eminently calculated 
to induce in him a frame of mind which makes him ready to listen to 
suggestions that he should adopt other ogricultural improvements. 
For this reason, we see no objection to the seed farm being used also 
as a demonstration farm, provided that its primary purpose is not detri- 
mentally affected thereby. Indeed, there are positive advantages in its 
being HO utilised. The seed farm affords special opportunities to the 
cultivator of seeing the extent to which the adoption ot improved 
methods of cultivation or the use of manures can improve the outturn 
of the seed issued to him. The policy of using the seed farm for demon- 
stration purposes has been specially successful in the Central Provinces 
and to it must be largely attributed the fact that the distribution of im- 
proved seed in that province is on a larger scale than it is elsewhere. 

134. The question whether departmental farms should pay their way 
FINANCIAL RETURN ^as ^ eeu fr e( l uen tly discussed. Farms which have 

FROM DEPARTMENTAL been established solely for experimental work cannot 
FARMS> be expected to do so. Receipts are an entirely 

secondary consideration in their case. In Chapter IV, we have stated 
our view that the work of seed distribution has reached a stage at which 
it may legitimately be expected to pay its way. We consider, therefore, 
that seed farms should, ordinarily, be expected to be at least self-support- 
ing, so far as their seed work is concerned. Where a demonstration farm 
has been established to demonstrate the possibility of commercial farming, 
it is obviously failing in its pur pose if it does not yield a substantial profit. 
Where district and tehsil farms exist to further what may be termed the 
general propagandist work of the department, we do not consider it 
essential that receipts should cover the whole expenditure which a 
commercial accountant would debit to it. Every visitor to a depart- 
mental farm should be told whether such farm is, or is not, expected to 
pay its way, and should be given the reasons for the policy adopted. A 
short printed statement should be prepared and handed to all who 
inspect the farm. 

135. It is generally agreed that the provision of short courses in 

particular subjects on government farms is an admi- 
rable method of popularising desirable agricultural 
practices. The objections to demonstration work on 
experimental farms apply equally to their use for this purpose. If short 
courses are held on them, special care must be taken, on the one hand, to 
ensure that the success of the experiments is not endangered and, on the 
other hand, that the cultivator should not be misled by the experimental 


character of the work on these farms. Whilst we do not consider 
that there would be any justification for establishing demonstration 
farms to promote this form of educational activity, we concur in the view 
that short courses for cultivators given on demonstration or seed farms 
provide an excellent opportunity for the establishment of closer touch 
between the agricultural departments and the cultivator. Where theae 
courses are given, they should be assigned as a definite duty to a particular 
member of the staff of the farm. They should not be regarded as work 
which can be carried out in such time as the farm superintendent can spare 
from his other duties. We mention this point as we found, in one province, 
that the work had hitherto been carried out in a somewhat haphazard 
manner, though steps were being taken to rectify this. It may be desirable 
to attract cultivators to such courses by the payment of a small stipend 
as is done in Burma or to erect quarters for them as is proposed in the 
United Provinces, but these are matters which can best be determined 
in the light of the local demand. As in the case of short courses given 
at the agricultural colleges, we consider that the courses given on the 
farms should ordinarily terminate in a formal test which should, so far 
as the nature of the subject permits, be of a practical character. 

136. The methods adopted in carrying out demonstrations on the 
THE DEMONSTRA- cultivator's own fields are not the same m all 
TION PLOT. provinces. Broadly speaking, one of two systems 

is adopted. Under the system which is favoured in Bengal, Bombay, 
Madras and the Punjab, the cultivation is carried on by the 
cultivator himself from start to finish under the close supervision of 
the agricultural demonstrator. Where new implements are being 
tried, these are lent without charge. Where the advantages of improved 
seeds or manures are being demonstrated, these are usually given 
free in the first instance. A cultivation sheet, in which all expenditure 
is noted, is kept not only for the demonstration plot but also for an 
adjacent plot of equal size on which cultivation is carried out by 
the local methods. The cultivator himself supplies the data for the 
profit and loss account thus maintained which, at the end of the 
demonstration, shows the exact monetary gain which has been secured 
by the adoption of the improvement. Under the other system, which 
is that favoured in the Central Provinces and the United Provinces, 
the Agricultural Department hires the land on which the demonstration 
is carried out. In the United Provinces, the area taken up varies from 
half an acre to an acre in extent. In the Central Provinces, the area 
of the plot is approximately that which the local cultivator would 
normally cultivate. The plots in the United Provinces are 
retained for a year. The demonstrator is provided with bullocks, 
improved ploughs and all the necessary tools for cultivation in order 
that there may be as little interference as possible with the ordinary 
routine of the village. Labour is supplied by the part-time work of 
a few intelligent village youths, who ultimately become fieldmen and 
propagandists themselves. In the Central Provinces, work on the 
same plot is carried on for five years and is then closed down. During 
that period, the plot is farmed by the departmental staff in the 


manner recommended by the department for the area in which it is 
situated. It should be mentioned that, in the Central Provinces, 
demonstrations directed to specific points are also carried out by 
the cultivator himself under the supervision of the agricultural 

The advantage of the method adopted in the Central Provinces and 
in the United Provinces is that, as the work is carried on by the 
departmental staff throughout, more reliance can be placed on the 
data which are collected in the course of the demonstration. The 
advantage of the method adopted in the other provinces is that, as all 
the work is done by the cultivator himself, he is placed in a better 
position to realise the true value of the improvement which is being 
demonstrated. The adoption of this method is, therefore, more 
calculated to leave a lasting impression on the individual. Both systems 
have much to recommend thorn and we consider that both might 
well be adopted in all provinces and the results compared. 

1 37. In Bengal and Bombay, the cultivator whose land is used for the 
GUARANTEE purposes of demonstration is guaranteed against 

AGAINST LOSS any loss which may result. We were informed 

that, whilst no specific guarantee against loss is given in Burma, there 
is an implied guarantee that, should the demonstration unexpectedly 
end in failure, the cultivator will not suffer thereby. It would seem 
that the agricultural departments in these provinces have very 
seldom, if ever, had to incur any expenditure under the guarantee. 
Indeed, if it iiad been otherwise, it would have been tantamount to a 
confession of failure on their part, as it would have meant that the 
improvement had not been properly tested before it was recommended 
for incorporation in general agricultural practice. On the whole, we 
are inclined to doubt the wisdom ot giving a guarantee in these cases 
and a guarantee should only be given il, without it, demonstration plots 
are not procurable. The exact appraisement of any loss incurred is a 
matter of considerable difficulty and the existence of a guarantee may 
furnish motives for dishonest practices. Even if no guarantee is given, 
some compensation should, of course, be made if, for any reason, failure 
in the methods adopted involves the cultivator in loss. 

1 38. There is no respect in which the short courses, the establishment 
DEMONSTRATION OF f which on government farms we have reconi- 

iMiMiovEP IMPLEMENTS, mended in paragraph 135 above, should prove of 
more value than in promoting the use of improved implements, 
more especially if they include instruction not only in the use of the 
implements but also, as they do at the Lyallpur Agricultural College, 
in their repair. For the reasons we have given in Chapter IV, 
propaganda in favour of improved implements is -probably 
the most difficult part of this branch of the work of the agricultural 
departments. The work on the demonstration plot or demonstration 
farm can well be supplemented by peripatetic demonstrations. The 
agricultural demonstrator can, and should, put his improved plough 
or improved implement on a bullock cart, take it out into the area 


round the plot, or the farm, and there demonstrate its advantages. 
A travelling lorry could be utilised in this class of work where, and as 
soon as, suitable roads exist. In such cases, the officer in charge of 
the lorry would take with him a supply of spare parts, in addition to a 
supply of the implements or an example of the machinery it was proposed 
to demonstrate, fqr we would repeat that there is no greater obstacle 
to an extension of the use of improved implements and machinery than 
inability to obtain spare paits immediately they are required. He 
should, also, be accompanied by an instructor, who would teach the 
village smiths how to fit new parts and make adjustments and repairs. 

In this connection, we consider it possible that the use of the more 
expensive implements and machinery might extend more rapidly if 
suitable arrangements for hiring them out could be made, either by 
the agricultural departments or by the manufacturers in consultation 
with the departments. This appears to be the best method of overcoming 
the obstacle presented by the capital expenditure involved in outright 
purchase or even in payments due under the instalment or hire purchase 
system. That much can be done in this direction has been shown by the 
extent to which the iron sugarcane mills and boiling pans manufactured 
and hired out by Messrs. Renwick are now used in Bengal and Bihar. 
The firm charges a considerable hiring fee but at the same time makes 
arrangements for the prompt replacement of any parts that may be 
broken, with the result that their implements are now to be found 
wherever sugarcane is grown in Bengal and Bihar. 

1 39. As successful research must be the basis of successful demonstra- 
AoiiicuLTURAL tion, so successful demonstration must be the basis 
snows. of all the propagandist work of the agricultural 

departments It cannot be too strongly emphasised that all other forms 
of propagandist activity can only supplement ocular demonstrations 
whether they are carried out on government farms or on the cultivator's 
own fields No other form of propaganda can furnish a satisfactory 
substitute for demonstration. It can, at best, merely provide a method of 
following it up. One such method which us being increasingly made 
use of by the agricultural departments is that of the agricultural show. 
The participation oi the agricultural departments in shows takes various 
forms. It may take the form of an agricultural show for a whole province, 
as it did in the case of the very successful show at. Pooim, which we 
visited in October, 1926, or that o! a smaller show for a part of a province 
or even a single district or tehsil. Such shows may be organised by the 
department itself or, with its assistance, by outside bodies such as a dis- 
trict board. Participation may, again, be confined to the organisation of 
an agricultural stall, or an exhibit at a show of a wider character, or at one 
of the big fairs or festivals which are so common in India. Such shows, 
as has frequently been pointed out, provide a valuable means of demon- 
strating to a large crowd of people either improved methods or improved 
produce which it is desirable that they should know about, of creating 
local enthusiasm and of bringing a larger number of cultivators into touch 
with the staff of the agricultural departments than could, otherwise, be 


collected together. The evidence we received, and also the instances 
which came under our personal observation at Poona, Dacca and Lyallpur, 
show that the agricultural departments are fully alive to the value of this 
form of propaganda and that care is taken to make their demon- 
strations and exhibits both attractive and instructive. The exhibition 
of livestock is more effective than that of produce, though the latter 
cannot be omitted, and demonstrations of the actual working of 
machinery and implements are essential, if a show is to be a success, 
but they should be limited to a demonstration of such machinery and 
implements as are suitable to the tract in which the show is held. Again, 
it is, obviously, no use attracting attention or arousing enthusiasm unless 
this is followed up in every possible way. More use might be made 
of markets in this connection and a permanent agricultural stall should 
form a prominent feature of the regulated markets, the establishment of 
which we have recommended in our chapter on Communications and 
Marketing. If shows are to yield their full effect in educating opinion 
among local cultivators, it is essential that they should be held year 
after year, if not at one centre, at It ast in the same part of the 
country, [n such matters as the improvement of cattle, it is only 
by the cumulative effect of a succession of shows that any lasting 
influence can be established over the policy of breeders. In order to 
secure the continuity recommended, it will be desirable to make every 
effort to secure from profits and from private donations a surplus from 
which could be formed, for each tract, a fund to be carried on from year to 
year to defray the preliminary expenses of the shows. The arrangements 
to be made for this purpose will necessarily depend upon local circum- 
stances. A taluka development association, agricultural association, or 
other collective body interested in agriculture would be the natural trustees 
of tho fund. In cases, however, where additional financial assistance 
was needed, we think that, if the provincial Government were satisfied 
with the management of the shows, a contribution from provincial 
revenues to the fund would be fully justified. Further, with a view to 
popularising the shows, we consider that railway companies should 
issue cheap tickets, as a matter of course, and without waiting for an 
application from the organisers. 

As regards prizes at agricultural shows, experience has shown that 
medals are greatly valued by the recipients. These, however, should only 
be given sparingly and for exhibits of outstanding excellence. For 
ordinary exhibits, prizes are better given in kind than in money ; for 
example, in the case of exhibits of cattle, the prize might suitably be an 
improved plough or other agricultural implement. 

140. Varying views as to the usefulness of publications are held in 

the different provinces. In some provinces, it is 

PUBLICATIONS. ... -. , t r , , -in* , 

considered that vernacular leaflets, even when 

confined, as they should be, to an explanation in the simplest possible 
language of one point, and of one point only, are of little value. In other 
provinces, great use is made of them. In Madras, 120,000 copies of a 
leaflet on the single-seedling planting of paddy have been issued and other 


leaflets on such subjects as the castration of cattle by mulling, the ill- 
effects of communal grazing and home made remedies against some 
common plant pests have had a circulation of 60,000 copies. In that 
province, 7,520 copies of a digest of the work done by the Agricultural 
Department are issued monthly both in English and in three principal 
vernaculars of the province, and the Villagers' Calendar, which is published 
by the department every year, is becoming increasingly popular. The 
other publications issued by the department include bulletins of a 
more comprehensive character than the leaflets. These bulletins are 
usually issued in English only, but, like the vernacular leaflets, deal 
with one specific point. A Year-Book on the research and experi- 
mental work of the department, and various text-books and notes, are 
also published. 

Other provinces rely mainly on leaflets supplemented to some extent 
by bulletins. Burma has also a Villagers' Calendar. The Bengal Agri- 
cultural Department issues a journal in English and Bengali. The 
Punjab Agricultural Department publishes twice annually a 
departmental magazine entitled " Seasonal Notes " in English 
and the vernacular. The Agricultural Department of the United 
Provinces also publishes a vernacular journal. The Bombay Agricultural 
Department subsidises two monthly agricultural magazines, one in 
Marathi conducted by the Deccan Agricultural Association and one 
in Kanarese conducted by the Dharwar District Agricultural 
Association. The agricultural departments in most provinces 
supply regular material to the English and vernacular press. 
The efficacy of this form of propaganda must depend on the standard of 
literacy which has been reached and it is, doubtless, the fact that 
Madras stands high in this respect which has led to its adoption on such 
an extensive scale in that province. The spread of general education, 
to which we look forward with confidence, should enable the printed 
word to be used with increasing advantage. Meanwhile, we would 
point out that, whilst the other publications issued by the Madras Agricul- 
tural Department undoubtedly serve a valuable purpose in stimulating 
general interest in the work of the Agricultural Department and, on that 
account, are deserving of imitation elsewhere, the leaflets circulated in 
that presidency, as in other provinces, are of little real value, unless they 
are issued in connection with a definite demonstration of their subject 
matter. The results of leaflets advocating the single-needling planting 
of paddy are likely to prove very disappointing, unless the cultivators 
to whom they are given are provided with ample opportunities of sr< ing 
for themselves the advantages arising from the adoption of this 
practice. Again, the advocacy, by the circulation of leaflets, of more 
humane methods of castration is bound to prove ineffective unless 
it is accompanied by a demonstration of those methods. We think that 
local interest in the work of the department would be aroused, if a brief 
and popular account of what it has done were issued annually for each 
tract. We need hardly point out how essential it is that leaflets should 
be written in a manner which will enable them to be readily understood 
by the cultivators. Where the leaflets are published in the vernacular, 


we would suggest that agricultural or taluka development associations, 
where they exist, should be consulted as to the suitability of the 
language used. 

141. The comments we have made on publications in the preceding 
OniKii FORMS OF paragraph apply equally to other forms of propa- 
JPBO PAGAN DA. gaiula such as lectures, with or without the 

stimulating adjunct of lantern slides, and to the display of cinema films. 
A beginning has been made with the latter in the Punjab, and we have 
had opportunities of seeing lilms relating to the co-operative movement 
and to the campaign for village " uplift/' which is being carried on in 
the Gurgaon district. These films have, for the most part, been prepared 
by the Co-operative Department and by the Railway Board. While we 
welcome this initiative, we think that the departments of agriculture should 
consider the advisability of themselves embarking upon this important 
branch of propaganda. As each film is produced, steps should be taken 
carefully to assess its instructional value by such means as discussion 
with villagers who have seen it on the screen. A film designed to appeal 
to an audience of cultivators must possess very special qualities and 
we are persuaded that even a skilled professional producer could not 
successfully undertake its preparation without a considerable knowledge 
of village life and of the mentality of the average villager. It will be 
necessary to select with the utmost care those officers who are to be 
responsible for this work. We look forward to an increasing use of wireless 
as a means of conveying useful information to the cultivating classes, 
but, here again, information conveyed in this way should always be 
accompanied by information as to where the cultivator can see things 
for himself. We would mention an interesting experiment which has 
been made in Bengal and the Punjab. Early in 1927, at the initiative 
of the Eastern Bengal State Railway, a demonstration train was arranged 
which made a tour of eastern Bengal lasting for about a month. The train 
was fitted up as a travelling exhibition by the Railway, Public Health, 
Agricultural, Industries, Co-operative and Veterinary departments and 
by the Indian Tea Cess Committee. Each department was allotted a 
bogey carriage which was appropriately fitted up with pictures, models 
and samples illustrating its activities. Open air lectures, accompanied by 
films and lantern slides, were given at each stop. A similar train was 
arranged by the Government of the Punjab in collaboration with the 
North- Western Railway in December last, and made an extensive tour 
throughout the province. The Government of the United Provinces 
have provided a demonstration carriage for the use of 
Mrs. Fawkes, the Secretary of the United Provinces Poultry Association, 
to assist her in the work of popularising improved breeds of poultry. 
We would suggest that other provincial governments should obtain a 
report on the results of these experiments from the governments of 
Bengal, the Punjab and the United Provinces with a view to considering 
whether a similar experiment could not usefully be undertaken in their 
provinces. The method has been used in other countries with success. 
We have already referred, in paragraph 138, to the use of a travelling 
lorry for demonstrating improved implements. It is worth considering 


whether the use of motor lorries for other forms of propaganda might 
not also be advantageous. 

142. We have pointed out that the area on which improvements- 
AGRICULTURAL introduced by the agricultural departments can be 
ASSOCIATIONS. See n in actual operation, is still but a small fraction, 
of the total cultivated area of India. We anticipate that the district 
staff of the agricultural departments will expand rapidly in the near 
future but, even if the ideal which some agricultural departments have 
set before themselves, that of having one agricultural demonstrator 
with two fieldmen in each taluk or tehsil, is reached, it may be doubted 
whether the departments will be in a position to make their influence 
sufficiently felt upon the bulk of the cultivating classes. It is obvious, 
therefore, that the propaganda work of the departments requires to be 
supplement edby other agencies. This was recognised when the depart- 
ments were reorganised and, in some provinces, it was hoped that the 
lever with which they could move the cultivator to an extent far beyond 
anything that could be achieved by their own unaided efforts would 
be found in agricultural associations, that is, in organised bodies which 
would act as agencies for the dissemination of knowledge of agricultural 
improvement. Several associations of this character were formed in 
the Central Provinces, Bengal, Bombay and Madras but the hopes 
formed of them have not been fulfilled. In Madras, they soon became 
extinct and, as early as 1911, the Board of Agriculture found that they 
showed few signs of life except in the Central Provinces. The reasons 
for their failure are not far to seek. The area from which the members 
of the associations were drawn was usually too large to permit of a 
concentration of activity sufficient to produce any positive results. 
The lack of a definite task often meant that nothing at all was 
done. The associations were often composed of men whose direct 
interest in the land was small. In some cases, too much depended on the 
enthusiasm of a single member, the loss of whose presence on the 
association for one reason or another resulted in the association 
lapsing into inanition. And, above all, the staff of the agricultural 
departments in those early days was so limited and its energies were so 
taken up with the work of research and experiment that it was 
unable to give the associations the close attention without which 
they could hardly have been expected to thrive. The result was that, 
whilst the associations lingered on in Bombay and the Central 
Provinces, they achieved but little until recent years when they were 
reorganised in the light of experience and converted into active bodies. 
There are now a large number of them in the Central Provinces, where 
they vary greatly in activity, some being very progressive and others 
almost moribund. Associations have been formed for districts, for 
tehsils and for the divisions of tehsils known as circles. As was to be 
anticipated from the previous history of the associations, it has been 
found that the tehsil associations are more effective than the district 
associations and that the circle associations are more effective than the 
tehsil associations. The tendency now is to develop the smaller unit, 
with the intention of building up the tehsil associations by the election of 


representatives of the circle associations and the district associations 
in like manner from the tehsil associations. There are now eleven 
agricultural associations in the Punjab which are reported to be doing 
increasingly useful work. Agricultural improvement committees have 
been formed in five districts in Burma. In addition to advising Govern- 
ment in matters relating to the agricultural development of the district, 
the committees arrange for the holding of shows and exhibitions. It is, 
however, in Bombay that the most striking developments have occurred. 
These developments are of special interest and importance as they 
represent the most systematic attempt which has yet been made to 
co-ordinate the propaganda work of the agricultural and co-operative 
departments in respect of agricultural improvement. Before we pass on 
to describe the activities of the taluka development associations and the 
divisional boards of agriculture in some detail, it will bo convenient to 
discuss the relation of the co-operative movement in general to the 
subject matter of this chapter. 

143. The Co-operative Credit Societies Act of 1904, which limited the 
T u.^f V activities of societies to the supply of funds to their 

_L U.HJ CU-Ul JCiKA.ll. V Hi !! rni /~v 

MOVEMENT IN RELA- members, was repealed in 1912. The Co-operative 
TION TO AGRICUI,- Societies Act of that year removed the restrictions 


permitted the formation of societies for the promotion in any direction 
of the economic interests of their members. The passing of the new Act 
resulted in the immediate utilisation of co-operative societies for the 
dissemination of agricultural improvement. The beginnings which were 
made were so promising that the most optimistic anticipations of the 
possibilities of this new method of propaganda were entertained by the 
Board of Agriculture of 1913. These anticipations have unfortunately not 
been realised. We have mentioned in Chapter IV that the sum total 
of the efforts of co-operative agencies in regard to the distribution 
of improved seed has so far been disappointing. This, with certain 
striking exceptions, is equally true of their agricultural activities 
in other directions. There would, pnmd facie, appear to be no organisa- 
tions better fitted to further the propagandist work of the agricultural 
departments than co-operative unions and societies for the joint purchase 
of the requirements of their members, for production and sale, either singly 
or in combination, for the sale and hire of implements and similar objects. 
But the history of such societies is, on the whole, melancholy reading. 
What can bo accomplished in this direction is shown by the success which 
has been achieved by the co-operative cotton sale societies in Bombay, 
the value of cotton sold by which amounted in 1925-26 to Rs. 62^ 
lakhs, and by the commission sale shops in the Punjab and the 
co-operative jute sale societies of Bengal which, in the same year, sold 
produce for their members to the value of Rs. 25 lakhs and 20 
lakhs respectively. But these are very exceptional cases, and, in 
general, it has to be admitted that societies of this character have done 
little to advance agricultural improvement. Much more hopeful are the 
societies for the consolidation of fragmented holdings and the Better- 
Farming societies of the Punjab. The former, the work of which we have 


described in the preceding chapter, are rather a means to the end of 
securing better cultivation ; the influence of the latter in bringing it 
about is more direct. There are now over one hundred Better-Farming 
societies in the Punjab, with 2,400 members controlling 42,000 acres. 
These members pledge themselves to follow the advice of the Agricultural 
Department in cultivating their own land ; if the area under control of a 
society is, or is likely soon to be, 2,000 acres or more, a trained fieldman 
(mukaddam) is allotted to assist. Valuable propaganda is carried on 
and useful work is being done. Improved ploughs, harrows and chaff- 
cutters, 'selected seed of wheat and cotton and setts of Coimbatore cane are 
in general use, whilst, in selected areas, new vegetables and fruits are being 
tried. The Co-operative Department accepts the function of making the 
knowledge of the agricultural expert productive by organising the people 
to adopt it. In five more societies, there are tenants in charge of small 
areas of thirty acres each, and an agricultural assistant has been placed 
on special duty to instruct them. Government are also giving grants to 
societies of the latter type to pay for trained fieldmen for three years. 

The co-operative organisations so far discussed in this chapter have 
been organisations formed for definite purposes connected with agri- 
cultural improvement. Some use has also been made by the agricultural 
departments of the ordinary co-operative credit societies in the work of 
spreading improved seeds, improved implements and artificial fertilisers, 
but sufficient has perhaps been said to show that the departments 
have failed to exploit the possibilities offered by the co-operative 
movement. While this failure has been largely due to the fact that the 
co-operative movement in several provinces in India has 210 1 yet reached 
a stage at which it can undertake any activities other than credit 
on an extensive scale, there can be no doubt that the lack of sufficiently 
close touch between the agricultural and the co-operative departments 
has been a contributory cause. We, therefore, proceed to describe the 
methods of overcoming this obstacle which are being adopted in 

144. The taluka development associations in Bombay have been 
constituted under a Resolution issued by the 

THE TALUKA DBVE- Government of Bombay in 1922. As soon after the 
TWNTlNDD.vSoN^ constitution of an association as possible, a survey 
BOARDS IN BOMBAY of the taluka is to be carried out by the Agricultural 
and Co-operative departments. Where such associ- 
ations exist, they have taken over the work formerly done in the taluka 
by agricultural associations, co-operative development committees and 
similar bodies. Membership of an association is open both to co-operative 
societies and to individuals who are willing to pay a small subscription. 
The associations are mainly deliberative bodies which meet two or three 
times a year to appoint office bearers, sanction the budget and approve the 
programme of work. The execution of the programme is entrusted to 
the secretary and a small working committee of which two members are 
representatives of co-operative societies in the taluka. The main object 
of the associations is the demonstration of improved implements, improved 


seed and manures. They do not, however, undertake the demonstration) 
of any improvements unless they have already been successfully demon- 
strated on the cultivators' own fields by the staff of the Agricultural 
Department. They are not expected to undertake any large purchases 
and hiring out of implements or the extensive financing of the purchase 
and distribution of seed and manure, the intention being that they should 
merely advance development to such a stage that this can profitably be 
done by co-operative societies. If an association asks for them, the 
services of a fieldman are placed entirely at its disposal Jby the 
Agricultural Department, the cost being met from the funds of the 
association. The funds required for the work of the association are 
provided by a capital fund raised by annual subscriptions from 
co-operative societies, individuals, and villages as a whole, and by an 
annual grant from Government which is equal to the income from other 
sources up to a limit of Rs. 1,000. 

The taluka development associations work under the supervision of 
divisional boards, of which there are six. Each of these boards consists 
of two official and four non-official members, of whom two repiesent 
the co-operative movement and two represent agriculture. The boaid 
is expected to meet at least once a quarter and to submit a report of its 
proceedings to the Director of Agriculture and the Registrar of 
Co-operative Societies jointly. One of the official members is ordinarily 
the chairman of the board. In addition to distributing the government 
grants allotted to the taluka associations on the principle described 
above, the board controls the distribution of the portion of the 
government grant for loans to co-operative societies which was formerly 
in charge of the Registrar of Co-operative Societies. The board also 
undertakes the distribution of the discretionary grant for propaganda 
purposes which was formerly administered by the Director of Agriculture. 
The board has also certain advisory ftmctions. It is expected to advise 
local officers as to the way in which the policy laid down by Government 
or by the Director and the Registrar is to be carried out in its division. 
It is also expected to discuss questions of general importance, and 
to bring to the notice of the department concerned such measures as it 
thinks should be taken for the economic advancement of the division. 

The Government of Bombay have laid down that the propaganda 
work of the Agricultural Department should be carried on, as far 
as possible, through co-operative unions where these exist and, where they 
do not, through individual co -operative societies. The work of both 
agricultural and co-operative propaganda is distributed between the 
agricultural overseers working under the Agricultural Department and 
the agricultural organisers working under the Co-operative Department. 
It is intended that the charges of these officers should not overlap and 
that each should be responsible for both agricultural and co-operative 
work in his own area. 

A report on the work of all the propaganda staff is submitted 
to the divisional board by the departments concerned every quarter 
and is forwarded to the Director of Agriculture and the Registrar 


-operative Societies with the board's remarks. Any recommenda- 
tions made by the board are considered and orders on them are issued 
by thj Director and the Registrar jointly. 

There are now nearly sixty taluka development associations in 
Bombay started either on the initiative of the people of the taluka or on 
that of the revenue officer in charge of it (the mamlatdar). The evidence 
we received showed that they were, on the whole, functioning 
successfully, though there have been some failures. We were informed 
that these have occurred mainly in the Konkan tract of the presidency 
in which a special class of landholders known as Mots is to be found. 
The failure in this tract is attributed to the fact that, owing to the 
peculiar nature of the tenure and the excessive subdivision and frag- 
mentation of land, neither the landholders, who aiv frequently 
absentees, nor the tenants take any great interest in the lard. 

145. The work of the taiuka development associations and of the 
divisional boards in Bombav has been in progress 
APPLICABILITY OF too short a time to enable its effect in stimulating 
MP*OVC. agricultural development to be gauged with any 
certainty. We have thought it useiul to describe 
their organisation and methods of working in some detail, not because 
we consider them suitable in every way for general acceptance, but 
because we are convinced that it is only by the adoption of this, or of 
some similar system, that the agricultural departments can effec- 
tively utilise the help of co-operative and other associations. The details 
of the organisation to be built up for this purpose must vary in different 
provinces. Much depends upon the efficiency of the agricultural and 
co-operative departments, much on the personality of the heads of the 
departments and their ability to work together, even more on the 
existence of a sufficient number of intelligent cultivators willing to 
form an active association. That closer association between 
the agricultural and co-operative departments for agricultural propa- 
ganda work is desirable, we have no doubt. The more elaborate 
course in rural economics, which we have suggested in Chapter XV 
for inclusion in the curriculum of the agricultural colleges would 
include instruction in co-operative principles, whilst, amongst the short 
courses given at the colleges, would be one in rural economy for the staff 
of the co-operative departments . The instruction of agricultural officers in 
the principles of co-operation and of co-operative officers in rural economy 
should assist in bringing about closer touch between the two departments. 
But something more than this is required. It is essential that there 
should be a definite system of co-ordinating their work in the districts. 
It is our view, therefore, that the Bombay organisation is well worth the 
study of other provincial governments. It is worthy of consideration 
whether the taluka should be the unit of organisation or whether, in some 
cases, a smaller area would not be a more appropriate unit. We would 
also suggest that Government might place at the disposal of the associa- 
tion the services of a more highly trained officer than a fieldman. The 
Bombay organisation might be held to be open to the criticism that 
NO * 286 li 


too much depends upon official initiative and supervision but- we think 
that reliance on such initiative and supervision is unavoidable in present 
conditions. In this connection, we wish to stress the part the district 
officer can play in advancing agricultural and other improvements in the 
area in his charge. His influence is such that any interest he displays in 
rural development is bound to he specially fruitful in results. Advantage 
of it is taken in some provinces, notably in the Central Provinces, 
by attaching an agricultural assistant to the camp of the district officer 
during his tours in the district. In Bombay, demonstrations of agri- 
cultural improvements by expert officers of the Agricultural Department 
have been given in conjunction with the annual settlement of revenue 
accounts (jamabandi) which is a feature of the revenue system in the 
ryotwari provinces of Bombay and Madras. We consider that both these 
methods of propaganda might be more widely adopted. 

146. The formation of development associations, whether on the lines 
UTILITY OP THE followed in Bombay or on others better adapted 

CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT to local conditions, will take time, whilst there are 

laBio T uIiuRA D L ANC fM G tracts whict are not sufficiently advanced to hold 
PROVEMENT. out any prospects of successfully establishing associa- 

tions in the near future. In the meantime and in such tracts, the 
agricultural departments should, we think, make far greater use 
of co-operative credit societies than they are now doing. The 
Co-operative Department in Bihar and Orissa has perhaps done more in 
this direction than any other. In that province, several central banks 
have been instrumental in introducing new crops or varieties, such 
as tobacco or Pusa No. 4 wheat, in the area to which their operations 
extend. In South Bihar alone, some eighty societies affiliated to 
such banks have rendered material assistance in distributing and 
demonstrating Coimbatore canes, groundnut, potatoes and sulphate 
of ammonia. 

147. The necessity for the concentration of the energies of the 

district staff of the agricultural departments and 
NECESSITY FOR THE o f the-associations through which it works, both 
T *1 N K Jn in f e g ar d to the area in which operations arc 
PROPAGANDA WORK. carried on and the subjects selected for demonstra- 
tion, cannot be too strongly insisted on. The 
conversion of the cultivators of a whole village to the adoption of a 
particular form of agricultural improvement is of far more value to the 
Agricultural Department, in the long run, than that of a number of 
isolated cultivators in a wide area. Once an improvement has 
thoroughly established itself in the agricultural practice of a small area, 
the knowledge of it spreads naturally over contiguous areas where condi- 
tions are similar. In the early stages of propaganda, it was perhaps not 
practicable to confine work to particular areas, and, in consequence, efforts 
were dispersed over a province and enterprising individuals were sought 
for, who would undertake to carry on their operations in accordance with 
the advice of the departments. We are emphatically of opinion that 
such dispersal of effort is no longer justified and that, everywhere, con- 
centration should be the policy. We agree with the Report of the English 


Agricultural Tribunal of Investigation that " State assistance to 
agriculture is more effective and economical where the agricultural 
community is co-operatively organised than where it remains in a 
condition of dominant individualism ; and, if for no other reason, the 
State would be justified in assisting the growth of agricultural co-opera- 
tion, by which it will be enabled the more effectively to promote its 
educational and other services." * Where, then, there are efficiently 
managed co -operative societies with members willing to adopt the advice 
of the agricultural expert, we consider that these should always be given 
preference over the unorganised individual. 

The advisability of concentration in regard to the distribution of 
the seed of improved varieties needs no elaboration. The individual 
cultivator who grows an improved variety may derive little benefit 
from so doing owing to the difficulty of disposing of his produce. 
Where the improved variety is one ol such crops as cotton, the millets 
and tobacco, which are liable to cross fertilisation in the field, he runs 
the risk that his crop will rapidly deteriorate owing to contamination 
from the inferior varieties grown by his neighbours. We have pointed 
out, in Chapter IV, that an obstacle to the spread of improved 
implements is the natural dislike of the individual to be marked of! 
in any way from his fellows, and this is equally true of other forms of 
agricultural improvement. Whilst we realise the difficulty of refusing 
requests for assistance from individuals and consider it desirable that 
these should be complied with as far as possible, the fact must be 
recognised that the staff which the agricultural departments can employ 
on demonstration work under its own control or lend to associations 
is limited. Associations should, therefore, be encouraged to send their 
own men to be trained by the departments. We regard it as most im- 
portant that no more demonstrations should be carried on than can be 
effectively supervised and brought to a satisfactory conclusion. The 
work should be carried out on a definite programme and should be of an 
intensive rather than of an extensive character. It appears to us that 
Better-Farming societies such as those established in the Punjab are 
useful centres for a campaign of this kind and we are, therefore, of opinion 
that the demonstration staff allotted by the agricultural departments 
for work in areas in which societies of this kind exist and are efficiently 
conducted should work preferably through them. 

148. The supervision of all demonstration and propaganda work 
within his charge is, and must remain, one of the 

APPOINTMENT OF AN most important duties of the deputy director of 
f&A.*l*A C woKK* agriculture in charge of a circle but we consider that 
an officer of the standing of a deputy director might 
well be attached to the office of the Director of Agriculture, 
whose sole duty it would be to organise and systematise activities 
throughout the province. His task would be to watch the various 
schemes of propaganda in operation, to record their results and to 
suggest methods of making them more effective. He would be 

*Final Report 1921. Crad, 2145, paragraph 178, 
MO y 280 II* 


expected to familiarise himself, as far as possible, with experiments in 
demonstration and propaganda conducted in provinces other than his 
own and to keep himself informed of the methods adopted in other 
countries. It would be his duty to bring to the notice of the research 
staff points which the work of the district staff revealed as specially 
requiring their attention. He would also act as a liaison officer 
between the Agricultural Department and the Press and would be in 
charge of all departmental publications which had as their object the 
furtherance of agricultural improvement and the stimulation of popular 
interest in the work of the department. 

149. Throughout this chapter, we have dealt with the work of 
demonstration and propaganda from the point of 

i ROPAGANDA OF . ., ._ Air ^ i t 

OTHER DKPAKTMKNTH view oj agriculture. We nave done so, mainly 
CONNECTED WITH because this is the aspect with which wo are 
RURAL WKLFARK niore immediately concerned, but, in part, because 

demonstration and propaganda in favour of agricultural improve- 
ments present special problems of their own. The principle that, if 
propaganda in Indian conditions is to be effective, it must be based 
mainly on ocular demonstration is, however, one of general applica- 
bility to all departments concerned with rural welfare. It is also true 
generally that the propaganda carried on by such departments will be 
far more fruitful in results, if it is conducted through the medium of 
organised associations. It is the realisation of this which has led to 
the formation of co-operative societies for purposes connected with 
education, irrigation and the prevention of disease. Whilst we see no 
objection to the use of agricultural associations and of taluka develop- 
ment associations for veterinary propaganda and, indeed, consider 
that they should be able to render material help in any campaign 
which is undertaken to stamp out cattle disease, we are averse from 
invoking their assistance in any other form of propaganda work less 
directly connected with agricultural improvement. To do so might 
end in diverting their attention to an undesirable degree from the 
objects for which they have been established. For this reason, we 
consider that the propaganda work of departments concerned with 
rural welfare, other than the agricultural and veterinary departments, 
is best carried on through associations organised for more genera] 
purposes such as co-operative bodies and the rural community councils 
of the Punjab, to which we refer in our chapter on The Village . 

150. We consider that a valuable stimulus to agricultural development 
PRIZES FOR AQRI- i n I n( lia would be given if the Government of India 
CULTURAL IMPROVE- were to award an annual prize for the most striking 
MENT> agricultural improvement of the year. The value 

of such a prize in arousing interest in concrete forms of agricultural 
improvement would, in our opinion, lie even more in the prestige 
that would attach to its receipt than in the monetary amount, 
though we are of opinion that this should be substantial and would 
suggest Rs. 10,000 as a suitable figure. The conditions governing 
the award of the prize should be made as definite as possible and 


we would instance the invention of new or improved implements, 
or the introduction of new or improved varieties of crops as examples of 
the class of work which would constitute a claim to it, We think it 
desirable that officers in the public service should be declared to be 
ineligible to compete for the prize. We would suggest that claims to the 
award should be submitted to, and adjudicated by, a small committee 
constituted expressly for the purpose. The Chairman of the Council of 
Agricultural Research would be a suitable chairman of such a committee 
and it should, in our view, consist of an equal number of officials and 
non-officials. The Government of India scheme for such an award might 
advantageously be supplemented by similar provincial schemes. A 
valuable lead in this direction has been given by our late colleague, 
Sir Ganga Bam, who founded a prize which is 1o be awarded, at 
intervals of not less than three years, lor a discovery of an invention 
or a new practical method which will tend to increase agricultural 
production in the Punjab on a paying basis. 

SUMMARY OF CON- J5[ The conclusions and recommendations in 
M L ENDATK)Ns D ^^^ this chapter may be summarised as follows : 

(1) The discontinuance by the Board of Agriculture of its review 
of the methods of demonstration and propaganda adopted in the 
provinces is to be regretted (paragraph 129). 

(2) The only hope of convincing the cultivating classes ot tlui 
advantages of agricultural improvement lies in ocular demonstration 
(paragraph 130). 

(3) The several methods of propaganda employed, their relative cost 
and the claim of each upon the time of the staff, should be frequently 
reviewed in the light of recorded results and any method proved 
ineffective should be abandoned (paragraph 130). 

(4) Demonstration on the cultivator's own fields is preferable to 
that on a government demonstration farm (paragraph 131). 

(5) It is doubtful whether the possibilities of capitalistic Jarming 
require demonstration on the scale adopted in the United Provinces 
(paragraph 131). 

(6) The establishment of a farm in each district for the general 
purposes of the Agricultural Department, including demonstration, is 
desirable but the staff and funds available can, in present conditions, 
be much more usefully employed in demonstration on the cultivator's 
own fields (paragraph 131). 

(7) The policy in regard to the establishment of demonstration larrns 
in the United Provinces and the Punjab should be re-examined 
(paragraph 131). 

(8) No more demonstration farms should be opened in Bengal until 
demonstration on the cultivator's own fields has expanded to a much 
larger extent (paragraph 131). 

(9) There is no objection to tin*, establishment of special demon- 
stration farms for demonstrations which involve industrial as well as 
agricultural operations (paragraph 131). 


(10) Experimental farms are unsuitable for demonstration work 
and should, therefore, be confined to the purpose for which they are 
intended (paragraph 132). 

(11) Departmental seed farms can be used with advantage for 
demonstration work (paragraph 133). 

(12) Demonstration farms, established to demonstrate the possi- 
bilities of capitalistic farming, should be run at a profit. Seed farms 
should be at least sell-supporting. It is not essential that farms 
established for other purposes should work at a profit (para- 
graph 134). 

(13) Short courses in particular subjects should iorm an important 
part of the work of demonstration and seed farms (paragraph 135). 

(14) The two systems of carrying out demonstrations on the culti- 
vator's own fields, that under which a plot is hired and the cultivation 
is carried on throughout by the departmental staff and that under 
which the land is cultivated by the cultivator himself under depart- 
mental supervision, should be adopted in all provinces, and the results 
compared (paragraph 136), 

(15) The policy of guaranteeing the cultivator against loss arising 
out of demonstration work on his land is one of doubtful expediency 
(paragraph 137). 

(16) Peripatetic demonstrations of the use of improved implements 
should be given (paragraph 138). 

(17) Suitable arrangements should be made by agricultural depart- 
ments, or by manufacturers in consultation with them, for hiring out 
the more expensive implements and machinery (paragraph 138). 

(18) Agricultural shows provide a useful means ol following up the 
demonstration work of the agricultural departments (paragraph 139). 

(19) For exhibits of outstanding excellence at such shows medals 
might be given. Prizes for ordinary exhibits are better given in kind 
than in money (paragraph 139). 

(20) A permanent agricultural stall should be established in the 
regulated markets, the establishment of which is recommended in 
Chapter XI (paragraph 139). 

(21) The various publications issued by the agricultural departments 
serve a useful purpose in stimulating general interest in the work of 
the departments. The vernacular leaflets, which are issued in large 
numbers, are, however, of little value, unless they are issued in 
connection with a definite demonstration of their subject matter 
(paragraph 140). 

(22) Other forms of propaganda such as lectures, the cinema and 
wireless are of little value, unless used in conjunction with actual 
demonstrations of results (paragraph 141). 

(23) The agricultural departments should consider the advisability 
of undertaking the production of films (paragraph 141). 

(24) The possibilities of a demonstration train as organised recently 
in Bengal and the Punjab should be considered in other provinces 
(paragraph 141). 

(25) Agricultural associations hitherto have, for various reasons, 
proved failures in most provinces (paragraph 142). 

(26) The agricultural departments have failed to exploit the 
possibilities offered by the co-operative movement for propaganda 
work (paragraph 143). 

(27) The divisional boards and taluka development associations 
in the Bombay Presidency constitute an organisation for the co-ordina- 
tion of the propaganda work of the agricultural and co-operative depart- 
ments which is worthy of study by other provincial governments 
(paragraph 145). 

(28) Agricultural assistants for propaganda work should be attached 
to the camps of district officers (paragraph 145). 

(29) The agricultural departments should make far greater use of 
co-operative credit societies in their propaganda work (paragraph J46). 

(30) Demonstration and propaganda work should be concentrated, 
both in regard to the area in which operations are carried on and the 
subjects selected for demonstration (paragraph 147). 

(31) Better-Farming societies should have the first claim on the 
services of such of the district staff of the agricultural departments 
as is allotted for demonstration work in the areas in which they are 
established (paragraph 147). 

(32) The appointment to the office of the Director of Agriculture 
of an officer, whose sole duty would be to organise and systematise 
propaganda work throughout the province, is desirable (para- 
graph 148). 

(33) The propaganda work of departments concerned with rural 
development, other than the agricultural and veterinary departments, 
is best carried on through associations organised for general purposes 
and through co-operative bodies (paragraph 149). 

(34) A valuable stimulus to agricultural development in India would 
be given if the Government of India were to award an annual prize for 
the most striking agricultural improvement of the year (para- 
graph 150). 




152. In this chapter, we deal with the numbers, management, uses 
SCOPE OF THE and improvement of livestock, by far the most 

CHAPTER. important of which, from the point of view of the 

cultivator, are cattle. Incidental reference only is made to diseases 
of animals ; the control and treatment of disease are discussed in 
Chapter IX. 

153. In the Central Provinces and Burma, a livestock census is 
TOTAL NUMBERS OK taken yearly. In other provinces, livestock are 

LIVESTOCK is INDIA. enumerated at intervals of five years. The year in 
which the quinquennial census is taken is not the same in all provinces ; 
but this does not affect the value of the figure* for our purpose. The 
latest statistics available are those given in Volume I of " Agricultural 
Statistics of India, 1924-25." It is to these that the references in this 
chapter are made. 

The numbers, in millions, of the different groups of livestock in British 
India are as follows ; 

Cattle and buffaloes , .. ,. .. 151 '0 

Sheep and goats .. .. .. .. 62*5 

Horses, mules and donkeys . . . . . . 3*2 

Camels . . . . . . . . 0*5 

In those Indian States for which statistics arc available,* there were, in 
1924-25, over 30 million cattle and buffaloe;;, 25 million sheep and goats, 
one million horses, donkeys and mules, and 262,000 camels. 

154. In comparing figures for cattle and sheep, it is i.^ual in western 
RELATIVE IMPOK- WUI1 ^ es to allow from six to seven sheep as the 

TANCE OF THE equivalent of one cattle unit. The cattle and sheep 
DIFFERENT CLASSES o f j n( ji a vary so greatly in size that a suitable 
factor for this country could only be determined 
after careful enquiry, and no such enquiry has yet been made, (if, 
however, for the purposes of a rough estimate, the figure seven were 
adopted, it would follow that, from the point of view of their size 
and the total quantity of food required for their maintenance, cattle and 
buffaloes occupy a place in Indian agriculture nearly seventeen times 
as great as that occupied by sheep and goats. In the actual life of 
the people and in the rural economy of the country, the relative 

* Statistics aie avaiUble from ft I States, having an area of 252 million acios and 
a population of 4tt millions. The total area of Indian States is 461 million acicb, and the 
total population is 12 millions. 


importance of bovine animals is indeed, much more marked than the 
above figure would suggest. 

In any classification of the countries of the world from an agricultural 
point of view, India would appear as essentially a crop-growing country. 
Its jute, rice, wheat, cotton and oil-seeds occupy a large place in world 
markets ; while, with but rare exceptions, its livestock are never seen 
beyond its shores. ^For a time there was a limited export of 
dairy products to eastern markets ; but of such products India has 
none to spare, and indeed imports them to supplement the home 
supplies, ) 

The only livestock products in which a modest external trade is carried 
on are hides and bones. Of these two commodities India has an abun 
dant supply, but the export is not of appreciable advantage to the owners 
of stock. 

Although the exports of cattle and cattle products are very small in 
comparison with those of such nations as the Argentine, Australia or the 
United States of America, in none of those noted stock-rearing countries 
are cattb of more importance to the home population than they 
are in India. In most parts of the world, they are valued for food 
and for milk; in India, their primary purpose is draught for the 
plough or the cart. The religious veneration accorded to the cow 
by the Hindu is widely known. To at least half of the population 
of India, the slaughter of the cow is prohibited, and this outstanding 
fact governs the whole problem of the improvement of cattle in this 
country. It is necessary to the obligation under which 
the country stands to the cow and to her offspring, the trusty ox. With- 
out the ox, no cultivation would be possible , without the ox, no produce, 
could be transported. This statement is almost universally true, for 
other animals, such as the camel, the horse and the donkey, and mecha- 
nical vehicles are rarely used. ^ 

The total number of sheep and goats is considerable, but they are 
very unevenly distributed, and, as a rule, ilizy are not so much the 
characteristic stock of the ordinary cultivator as of nomadic flock-owners 
or of the landless villager in districts where scrub jungle abounds. A 
horse or a mule is rarely seen at work on the land and, except in the 
hills, these animals are almost as rarely employed for transporting 
produce. In some localities, donkeys are utilised in carrying agricultural 
produce, but nowhere are these animals used to the extent that they are 
in Egyptian agriculture, hi arid tracts in the north and north-west, 
the camel occupies a leading place as a transport animal. 

Sheep and Goats 

155. Since, in India, of all domestic animals, cattle are incomparably 

DISTRIBUTION OF the most important, we propose to discuss cattle 

SHEEP AND GOATS. problems at some length ; but before doing so it 

will be convenient to refer briefly to one other minor class of livestock, 

namely, sheep and goats. 


The distribution of the 23 million sheep arid 39 million goats of 
British India is as shown below : 

Sheep Goats 

(in 000 's) (in OOO's) 

Ajmer-Mcrwara and Manpur . . . . 258 272 

Assam .. .. .. 44 879 

Bengal .. .. .. 711 6,007 

Bihar and Orissa .. .. .. 1,239 5,765 

j Presidency Proper .. .. 1,768 2,622 

m ay (sine! .. .. .. 624 1,511 

Burma .. .. .. 74 263 

Central Provinces and Berar .. .. 358 1,330 

Coorg and Delhi .. .. .. 8 30 

Madras .. .. .. 11,220 8,049 

North -West Frontier Province . . . . 491 571 

Punjab .. .. .. 4,266 4,472 

United Provinces .. .. .. 2,153 7,473 

The reason lor the small numbers of sheep found in Bengal, Burma 
an 1 Assam is sufficiently clear ; the climatic conditions in these provinces 
are ill suited to sheep, The small number of sheep in the Central 
Provinces is less readily explained, but the causes at work need not be 
examined here. 

From the point of view of numbers, much the most important sheep- 
breeding province is Madras. The sheep kept in the central districts 
of Madras alone are not far short in number of those found in the Punjab, 
and much exceed those of any other province. Unexpectedly, too, sheep- 
breeding is largely followed in all parts of the presidency, except in 
the very wet districts on the west coast. The general importance of sheep 
appears to be associated with the rainfall distribution of the province 
which is better suited to them than it is in most other parts of India. 
It may be noted that sheep are found in the largest numbers in those 
districts of Madras in which the south-west monsoon is light. In 
contrast to most other provinces where sheep are usually owned by 
nomadic herdsmen, the majority of the owners of flocks are settled in 
villages and graze their flocks, which vary in size from a few dozen to 
over a thousand, at no great distance from their homes. The sheep 
are usually of very poor quality. They produce at most two pounds of 
wool annually and the fleeces consist of hair rather than wool. In some 
parts of the central districts, especially in Coimbatore, better animals 
are bred and the wool is of fair quality. Sheep in the north-west of 
India generally belong to noinadic shepherds ; a number of breeds are 
recognised, the two most interesting being the dumba or fat- tailed sheep 
with long coarse wool, mainly valued for its mutton, and, in the south 
of the Punjab, the Bikanir breed which is reputed to grow the best wool 
in India. The whole of the Eajputana Agency, from Bikanir southwards, 


contains sheep of a relatively good class ; but, except in Ajmer-Merwara. 
where the number of sheep is large in relation to area, the land on which 
these flocks graze lies outside British India. Large flocks belonging 
to nomadic shepherds are common in several parts of the Bombay 
Presidency. Bombay wool, though at one time considered good, is now 
classed by buyers as of low quality. It is, in fact, very variable ; some 
animals grow fair wool, others little more than hair. Herdsmen 
expect to make from twelve annas to a rupee for fleeces, and a consider- 
able part of their income is derived from sheep-folding. The best sheep 
in the United Provinces are found in districts such as Muttra, Moradabad 
and Bundelkhand in which the rainfall is light ; there are also some 
good breeds in certain Himalayan tracts ; but the sheep of the province 
are generally very poor. With the exception of Patna sheep, which 
have long had some local reputation, the sheep of Bihar and Orissa and 
Bengal are of small size and produce wool of little value. 

The numerous breeds of sheep recognised in India cannot be described 
here, nor can we examine their management. It may, however, be noted 
that it is usual to shear flocks twice yearly ; that the average yield of 
wool is about two pounds per annum ; that, in most localities, mutton is 
regarded by sheep breeders as of more importance than wool, and that 
the general management of flocks is very poor. 

4s in the case of sheep, Madras heads the list of Indian provinces in 
the number of goats kept. The United Provinces come second, Bengal 
third, and Bihar and Orissa fourth. Wherever sheep are largely kept, 
goats are associated with them ; but only in Madras do general conditions 
cause sheep to be the favourite ; in most provinces, the hardier goat is 
much the more common. Clirna-tic conditions are not the only reason 
for this preference which also arises from the value of the goat as a 
milk producer. Many breeds of goats are kept on the plains of India but 
they may be grouped into three types ; the milking goat found nearly 
everywhere in villages ; the nondescript animal which accompanies the 
flocks of sheep and, like them, is used for providing meat and skins, and 
for folding ; and goats kept for the valuable hair which they produce. 
The pat (pattu) goat is a distinct breed found in the Himalayas ; but 
at lower elevations, in Sind, Rajputana and Baluchistan, may be found 
breeds of goats producing hair varying in value from little more than 
that of the common goat of the plains to a quality approaching that 
of the pat goat of the Himalayas. 

156. The East India Company gave long and assiduous attention to 
EARLY SHKEP the subject of wool improvement ;* indeed it would 
BREEDING EXPERT- appear from old records that, if our enquiry had 
MBNTS> been held a century ago, we should have had more 

proposals for sheep improvement placed before us than appear in the 
volumes of evidence we have published. 

* See Watt's Dictionary of the Economic Products of India ; Oahutta, 1893. Article- 
Sheep and Goats, 


One or two of the many experiments made in the past may be 
mentioned as an indication of the attention formerly given to livestock 
improvement in India, and because of their bearing on the policy which 
should now be adopted. /About the year 1826, the Bengal Government 
spent Rs. 9,450 in acquiring a flock of country ewes and importing forty 
merino rams and ewes. An experiment in crossing was carried on with 
these animals in the United Provinces, but the cross-breds did not stand 
the climate well and, in 1832, the experimental flock was dispersed by 
distributing it to hill chiefs. About the time the Bengal Government's 
experiment terminated, a Bombay military officer drew the attention of 
the Directors of the East India Company to the possibilities of sheep 
breeding in Gujarat and the Deccan. In 1835, the Directors sent a 
consignment of 120 selected sheep of several breeds from England I two 
farms were opened near Ahmednagar, and a Bombay officer, W!K> had 
"a good practical acquaintance with the management of sheep," was 
placed in charge of them. For a time, success appeared likely ; as a 
marked improvement in wool resulted from crossing, neighbouring sheep 
owners sent their ewes to the farm rams, and many half-bred rams were 
distributed. Prospects were favourably reported on in 1843, but the 
experiment seems to have been abandoned soon afterwards. The 
inference from the information on record is that the country-bred rams 
failed to give satisfaction. 

Many similar experiments both by the State and by private individuals 
were made elsewhere, especially in the Punjab, Bengal and Madras ; 
but except that they established that the merino breed is, in general, 
better suited than the mutton sheep of England for crossing with Indian 
sheep, none of them led to any useful results. It is clear that the enthu- 
siasm of some of the early experimenters was greater than their knowledge 
of sheep breeding. One, for example, established a flock at Oherrapunji 
which has a rainfall of some 450 inches ! But it is also clear that quite a 
number of those taking part in the experiments were careful and obser- 
vant flockmasters. The reasons why the many experimental flocks 
established and the hundreds of sheep imported, during a period of 
experimental work which lasted over half a century, should 
have exercised so slight an influence seem to us well worth careful 
examination by livestock experts beginning similar experiments at the 
present time. 

157. Lack of organisation, with consequent lack of continuity in the 
RKASONS KOK PAST work, was certainly in part responsible for failure. 
FAiLUKEs. r pfl e effoits, in most cases, centred round individuals 

and, when they disappeared, the flocks disappeared a]so. But organised 
work was not always lacking ; in Bengal, there was a cattle committee 
of the Agri-Horticultural Society whose members took much interest 
in sheep breeding and whose efforts were long continued. In Bombay, 
too, interest seems to have been fairly widespread, and the indications 
are that it was the flocks, not the interest, that failed. And to keep provin- 
cial breeders at their task there was, in the earlier years, the Board of 
Directors of the East India Company in London, looking expectantly 


for good Indian wool, ready, as we have seen, to incur considerable 
expense, and not likely to let experiments drop if results of permanent 
value seemed probable. 

(y?e are of opinion that the failure of the efforts we have described was 
largely due to the eagerness of all concerned to secure immediate results. 
Early breeders were flattered by the favourable reports of wool buyers, 
for the improvement in wool produced by a cross was remarkable. For 
example, in the case of the Bombay experiment, London wool brokers 
reported the fleece of a Deccan ewe as being worth 3d. per lb., while that 
of a shearling merino-Deccan cross from Poona was valued at 15d. 
The truth indeed appears to be that in watching the wool, breeders 
forgot the sheepN 

The temptation to secure immediate results besets the breeder in India. 
Most kinds of livestock in this country are of low quality and the change 
produced by the use of imported superior sires is pronounced in the half- 
bred. Improvement by selection, on the other hand, is a slow business. 
It did not appeal to the enthusiastic sheep breeders of last century, 
who no doubt realised that they themselves would see but little of the 
results of their labours. Thus they failed to secure, by selection, a soUd 
foundation for their flocks, and nothing now remains to testify to the 
efforts they made to effect improvement. 

158. This is the principal deduction which we consider is to be drawn 
,, ) , , from the sheep-breeding work done in India in 

SAUY FOR SUCCESS JN the nineteenth century, and we, therefore, recom- 
SHBKP BREEDING. mend that the main energies of livestock experts 

now resuming the work should be concentrated on a study of the best 
indigenous types, and that the building up of a ewe flock with definite 
characteristics should be aimed at, before modification of these charac- 
teristics by crossing is decided upon. 

In most provinces, livestock experts have already established flocks of 
considerable size, or are in process of building them up. The expressions 
of opinion we heard on the prospects of sheep breeding were sanguine ; 
more sanguine indeed for the immediate future than the existing position 
and the difficulties to be encountered seem to us to warrant. We recognise 
the great scope for improvement, and we believe that, in spite of obvious 
difficulties, great improvements are possible ; but the prospects of the 
" get-rich-quick " adventurer are no better in the twentieth than they 
were in the nineteenth century. 

Space will not permit of an examination of the position in the different 
provinces, and we propose only to refer to recent experiments in northern 

Between 1912 and 1923, sheep breeding experiments were in progress 
in the United Provinces. The lessons to be drawn from the failures ot 
the early breeders were noted, and, in this case, the crossing experiments 
were made on selected country ewes. Merino and Roinney Marsh rams 


were used. The merino rams were used on country ewes, and also on the 
crossed progeny, grading up by stages to the pure bred sire, until lambs 
of seven -eighths merino strain were obtained. The country ewes were 
of two breeds, Bikanir and United Provinces. An interesting report 
by the Veterinary Adviser to the Government of the United Provinces, 
published in 1926, describes these, experiments and gives a number 
of useful particulars regarding the conditions under which sheep are 
kept in the United Provinces. The experiments showed a very marked 
improvement in the first cross with the merino ; the wool was four 
times the value of the country product. Half the three-quarter-bred 
merino sheep were a distinct improvement on their dams, others showed no 
advance, and a significant point a few deteriorated. The best three- 
quarter-bred merinos, when mated with a pure merino, produced very 
good wool which was valued at merino rates, but the sheep began to lack 
" carcase and robustness." It was at this stage that Komney Marsh 
rams were introduced to confer size and mutton qualities ; but, owing 
to financial reasons, this series of experiments came to an end soon 
afterwards. One further significant point must be noted. Bikanir 
ewes gave better results than those of the United Provinces. Experi- 
ments in crossing with merinos are now being carried out at Hissar, where 
the conditions are favourable for sheep breeding. The half-bred sheep 
produced there is a very useful animal but, when these have again been 
crossed with merinos, the same defects in substance noted in the United 
Provinces have appeared. Light is thrown on the quality and character 
of native flocks by the fact that Hissar half-bred rams used on local ewes 
have proved to be distinctly useful. There can be no question that, in 
improving the very poor sheep of most parts of the country, crossing can 
be resorted to with advantage. In these circumstances, the first objective 
of the breeder must be to secure rams that can stand Indian conditions, 
and these rams must be bred within the country and based largely on 
indigenous stock. In spite of the satisfaction which has been expressed 
with the first results of using half-bred Hissar rams, we are of opinion that 
no half-bred ram is likely to be of real use to the stock breeder in India. 
It is true that one case has been discovered in which half-bred rams give 
satisfaction in Britain ; but the chances of this occurring in this country 
are remote. We do not, therefore, recommend that livestock experts should 
aim at producing half-bred rams for distribution. But if the half-bred 
is rejected, a difficulty arises ; for, as we have seen above, when attempts 
have been made to grade closer to imported rams, defects at once appear 
which result in an unsuitable breeding sheep, Thus, at the moment, 
there is no obvious method of securing rams suitable for distribution, 
The difficulty we believe to be due to the mongrel character of the ewe 
stock ; the useful contribution which the breeder desires them to make 
to the new type of sheep at which he aims is not forthcoming ; and 
the point we vish to emphasise is that it will not be forthcoming until, 
by a process of continuous selection, some degree of purity is acquired by 
the ewes forming the foundation stock with which experiments in crossing 
should begin. The ewes used in the experiments in the United Provinces 


were ' selected ' only in the sense that they were picked out as resembling 
each other ; they were not * selected ' in the sense in which the term is 
used by the breeder of pure-bred stock. It has been noted above that 
the ewes selected in the United Provinces failed ; this failure was not, 
however, so marked with the Bikanir ewes, and the inference is that 
the Bikanij ewes were less mongiel in their constitution than those 
of the United Provinces. 

159. Our conclusions in the preceding paragraph apply also to goats. 
fi There are obvious directions in which the goat 

VjiQAT BREEDING. . , _ ... . v . 

nught be improved both as a milking and a hair- 
producing animal. In many parts of this, as of other countries, the 
gout is the poor man's cow ; arid there can be little doubt that, like the 
cow/its milk yield could be raised with little difficulty by selection. 
Since many breeds, or types, of goat have been recognised in different 
parts of the country, there is reason to suppose that, in the case of this 
animal, resort to crossing might also result in considerable improvement 
in the milk yield. Very little attention has been given to the subject 
and, in view of the hardy character of the animal, and the great need for 
increasing the milk supply, the possibilities of the improvement of 
milking strains should be explored. With the object of improving the 
quality of the hair, suggestions have been made from time to time 
that the Angora goat should be tried for crossing. So far as we have 
been able to discover, this has not been done in India, at least on any 
considerable scale. This breed has been used with highly satisfactory 
results in South Africa and elsewhere and we recommend trials of it 
hi this country. It may be found possible to grade up to the puie 
Angora strain In that case, improvement would be easy and straight- 
forward ; but, if the same difficulties arise as in the case of sheep, a 
beginning must be made with a selected strain of Indian she-goat. 
Fortunately, in some hill districts, there is reason to believe that 
relatively pure bred goats are to be found. On the plains, they may 
be expected to be as mongrel in constitution as sheep, and would have to 
be dealt with in the same way. 

Cattle and Buffaloes 

160. We now turn to the main subject of this chapter. In no part 
TOTAL NUMBER ^ ^he evidence we received was the disposition to 

OP CATTLE AND generalise more marked than in the replies relating 
BUFFALOES. o ca ttle, their quality and their management. 

The great importance of cattle , the miserable condition of so 
many of them, the obvious difficulties encountered by stockowners, all 
tended to induce general statements from which it was not always 
an easy matter in cross-examination to disentangle facts. So many 
factors have to be taken into account in considering the improvement 
of cattle that we feel a preliminary review of the position is 
called for, before we proceed to formulate our own conclusions. With 
this object we have examined the livestock census statistics for each 


province, as well as certain other figures which assist in explaining the 
difficulties of the Indian stockowner. ' * 

We recognise that there are imperfections in the published figures, 
but we believe they are sufficiently reliable* to deserve careful 
analysis by those responsible for cattle improvement. For obvious 
reasons, we cannot treat them in the detail that they deserve. 
We attempt no more than to discover certain broad facts con- 
cerning the distribution of cattle and the main factors responsible for 
differences in the total number of cattle found in different parts of 
the country. 

Thiriy years ago, the cattle census figures, which were then vefy 
imperfect, accounted for fewer than ninety millions of cattle "and 
buffaloes in British India. Ten years later, some 115 millions 
were enumerated. Improvements in the methods of collecting statistics 
were introduced about this time and there was a steady increase in the 
numbers, until, by the year 1914-15, 147 millions were recorded. It is 
clear that, up to this time, although an increase may actually have taken 
place, the main reason for the higher figures recorded was the expansion 
and improvement of statistical work. In the last ten vears, the 
fluctuations have been no more than are to be expected in a, country 
where the livestock depend largely on the produce of widely varying 
seasons. The number of cattle recorded in 1919-20 was 140 millions 
and, in 1924-25, 151 millions. 

161. From the census returns, it is obvious that the distribution c*f 
DISTRIBUTION OF caitle 1S ver y ime< l ual - (inequalities depending on 
CATTLE iw JNDTAN the nature of the land to be tilled, the extent of 
PROVINCES. irrigation from wells, the amount of scrub and 

jungle, the rural population and the size of the holdings are indeed 
to be expected, but, when all allowances have been made for such 
causes, the census figures show that surprising differences exist between 
provinces. ) 

The provinces vary so widely in extent and the total number of cattle 
is so large, that a valid comparison of the livestock position is not easily 
made, unless the figures are reduced to a common denominator. Of 
the various common denominators open to us, we believe that, for 
India as a whole, the best basis of comparison is " per 100 acres of net 
sown area " which is the basis adopted in th|jj Agricultural Statistics 
of India." 

The statement given below snows, ior eacnii^tne ma or provinces 
and for British India as a whole, the totajH^hnbers of cattle, the 
relation between that number and the human population, and the 
number of ordinary cattle and of buffaloes maintained for every one 
hundred acres of net sown area. An estimate of the total area of 
natural grazing land in each province is also included, This has been 


arrived at in a manner which is explained subsequently. >< As for 
livestock, thit grazing area is stated per 100 acres of net sown area ? 

u '* 

Distribution of cattle and buffaloes in the major provinces of India 
and in British India in 1924-26 


Net area 

number of 
cattle and 
buffaloes In 
the pro- 

of cattle 
and buffa- 
loes to total 



100 acres of 

net sown a 




(in OOO's) 

(In OOO's) 


No. No. 





76 1 


87 10 





54 6 


104 4 


Bihar and Orisan 




56 69 



( Presidency 
Bombay] Pr P er 




33 24 



1 Sind 



70 9 

195 42 1 1 


Burma .. . 17,046 


47 4 





Central Provinces and! 24.895 


83 9 






Madras .. . / 33,339 

22,1 11 

52 2 





Punjab . .. 26,940 

15, 2 .17 

73 7 





United Provinces . /35.121 


68 4 





British In. ha (includ- 


150, 978 

01 1 

1)2 53 



ing Minor Adminis- 


The great difference between province and province in the cattle 
population, especially in the number of ordinary cattle, is very remarkable, 
and an examination of the estimated areas of natural grazing land shows 
that the figures under this head throw no light on the reasons for it. In 
paragraph lfJ4- below, we separate the cattle into six different classes 
and we shall then refer again to their numbers. Before we do so, it is 
necessary that we should explain the method we have adopted in estimat- 
ing the grazing area, and should also discuss the quality and the value 
to the ordinary cultivator of the great so-called grazing areas nominally 
at thedisposal of cattle in India. It will also be necessary to refer to 
the value of the statistical returns from which the livestock figures are 
derived. The estimate of fche natural grazing land available in each 
prpvitfce has been arrived at to adding to the area of forest land open 
to cattle grazing, three-fourOT of the area of culturable waste and 
one-fourth of the area of uncufynrable waste found in each' province. 
It should, however, be not^that no inconsiderable part of the fodder 
which the cattle pick up for themselves is to be found not on the 
areas w,M&h we have termed natural grazing lands in the statement 
given alWve, but on cultivated fields after the crop has been 
harvested, and on current fallows. Indeed, in many parts of the 
MO Y 28612 


country, the weeds growing on cultivated land, the grasses on field 
boraefs and -along water channels, the cultivated plants ^which spring 
up frpm seed falling before harvest, and the stubble of crops, furnish the 
main grazing available to cattle. 

162. Agriculturists unacquainted with conditions in India would at 
CHARACTER OF oncfe challenge the basis of the comparison we have 
GRAZING LANDS IN made in the above statement ; their attention would 
INDIA - be attracted to the vast areas of uncultivated 

land found throughout this country, and, on the analogy of the 
experience of stockowners in temperate climates, they would advance the 
opinion that since grazings form the natural food of cattle, the grazing 
area, rather than the tillage area, should be used in comparing the 
numbers of cattle existing in each province. 

The vast uncultivated tracts of India do, undoubtedly, in the 
aggregate, afford a large amount of grazing^ and, in certain brief periods 
of the year, there is an abundance of grass ; but, except on the common 
grazing land near villages, where the early grass is devoured by 
starving animals, and the later growths never get a chance to develop 
into anything to which the term " pasture " could be applied, the 
growth of grasses is extremely rapid ; and they quickly become 
unpalatable to stock. Were these grasses to be cut and stored 
either as hay or silage, at a suitable stage, great quantities of cattle 
food could be provided ; but for many reasons, which need not for the 
moment be given, they are rarely stored for use ; and when the dry 
months of the year set in, the class of fodder to be found on grazing 
land is very poor. The long spells of dry weather hinder the develop- 
ment of the smaller grasses and prevent the formation of a close sward. 
The hard and dry grasses can indeed keep life in the cattle which have 
access to them, but very rarely can they keep cattle in good condition. 
t 4.s compared with grazing lands in temperate climates, Indian grazing 
lands are of very little use to the cultivators of tillage land, even when 
they are readily accessible, not because the grasses are bad but because 
they are only abundant and of high feeding value for a very short 
period in the year. At the time of year when the grower of field 
crops most needs fodder to supplement his own supplies, the fodder 
to be found on natural grazing land has little value for stock feeding. 
But, poor as grazing lands generally are from the point of view of 
economic stock husbandry, exceptions are to be found, arid it is 
unquestionable that grazings influence both the numbers and the 
management of the livestock of the country. It is in certain of the 
grazing areas that the better cattle of the country are bred, and the 
conversion of the best grazing land of the past into tillage land to meet 
the needs of a growing population has probably increased the difficulty 
of maintaining the quality of cattle \ 

The natural grazing lands of India are, as we have seen, to be found 
within the areas classed for statistical purposes as " forests," ^culturable 
waste " and "not available for cultivation/' 


A large proportion of the land which is classed as forest is open to 
grazing, either throughout the year or for that part of it when grazings 
are Of. most value. We have assumed that the whole of these open 
forests are available for cattle. Though grazing fees are charged, they 
are very low, and do not exclude cattle. We have not made a deduction 
from the total area of forests open to .grazing, as we have in other cases, 
because, although we recognise that much of the area so classed can 
produce little or no grass, and much is inaccessible, we think that the 
average quality of the open forest areas is substantially better than that 
of the average land included under " culturable waste/' and very much 
higher than that of land " not available for cultivation." Though 
the whole of the land falling within the category " culturable waste " is 
open to grazing, there is much of it which, though nominally " grazing 
area," does not produce any useful herbage. In some districts, there 
are extensive areas of laterite soils yielding nothing of value ; in others, 
prickly pear, bushes of many worthless kinds such as lantana, and 
coarse herbaceous weeds cover much of the ground. In assuming that 
three-fourths of the culturable waste is available as grazing, we believe 
that we have adopted a full figure. The grazing value of land " not 
available for cultivation " is still more difficult to assess. A very large 
proportion of it, because rocky and distant, is quite inaccessible to cattle, 
or it may be absolutely barren from absence of soil in the hills or of 
water in the plains. Its general character is such that we do 
not think it likely that more than one-fourth can be classed as 
grazing land. 

For British India as a whole, we are of opinion that the total ot 209 
millions of acres which we have arrived at by the method explained 
above may be regarded as an approximation which over-estimates rather 
than under-estimateH the extent of the natural grazing land accessible 
to cattle. As the quality of grazing land varies widely, we recognise 
that the totals arrived at in this way for each province cannot be regarded 
as strictly comparable. The figures supply, indeed, but a very rough 
index of provincial resources in the matter of grazing land, but 
we think them sufficiently near the mark to prove that the extent 
of natural grazing land available does not explain the differences 
which exist in the number of cattle maintained in the different 

163. These differences are, indeed, so remarkable that they necessitate 
VALUE TO BE some reference to the trustworthiness of the statis- 
ATTAOHBD TO sTA- tical figures. In the permanently settled provinces 
TisTicAt FIGURES. o f Bengal and Bihar and Orissa, where no village 
accounts are kept, and where the task of collecting the original 
livestock figures falls, not on a village accountant, but on a village 
watchman, the figures are admittedly much less reliable than in pro- 
vinces where they are collected by revenue officials. Even in provinces 
where the village accountant is employed, we have had evidence that 
the work of enumeration is sometimes very imperfectly done. On the 
other hand, it may be pointed out that the census has now been taken 

MO y 286120 


for a number of years, that rules for the guidance of those concerned 
have been carefully framed, that checks are imposed on the subordinate 
officers responsible for the primary collection, and that there is no special 
reason why a subordinate officer should seek to exaggerate or reduce 
the numbers of livestock kept in his area. It is no doubt the case, 
as witnesses have asserted, that many enumerators, instead of actually 
counting cattle, resort to information collected Irom villagers, or to 
copying previous figures ; but since the work is inspected and checked, 
this is to some extent a risky method of enumeration and it is unlikely 
that it is followed by a large percentage of the enumerators employed. 
While, therefore, it may be admitted that difficulties connected with the 
taking of a livestock census are considerable and that errors must be 
numerous, it should be pointed out that, in dealing with such very large 
numbers of village returns, errors due to exaggeration on the one hand 
and understatement on the other should tend to cancel out. It may 
also be claimed that the totals returned in recent years have been 

Where enumerators have failed, and to this failure many of the 
criticisms of their work must be due, is in the classification of the 
various groups of cattle. This is not altogether a matter for surprise, 
for, in asking subordinate officials to follow the classification prescribed, 
a difficult, indeed an impossible, task has sometimes been set them. 
In the Punjab, for example, where the village accountant is expected 
to compile his list of cattle under some twenty different categories, 
we find that, at the last census, 12,591 bulls were enumerated. The 
livestock experts of the province estimate the requirements at 50,000 
bulls and, as there are nearly 2,800,000 cows, this seems a conservative 
demand. The figure for " bulls " in this province would be inexplicable 
were it not that, in another column, we find about 1,460,000 
young uncastrated males recorded. It is evident that the Punjab 
village accountant has been set a perplexing problem by the 
authority responsible for the headings of the column in his village 

If we go to the other end of India, we find that the village accountant 
of Madras has been given a less invidious task than his fellow in the 
Punjab. His "return" of the cattle kept in his village contains eight 
columns only ; but even he is asked to make a distinction which leads 
him into difficulties between " breeding bulls " and " other bulls." 
The Madras totals show that there are about 5,500,000 cows, but only 
65,663 " breeding bulls." On the basis of the conservative estimate 
made by the Punjab livestock experts, it would seem that Madras should 
possess about 100,000 bulls fit for service. Animals under three years 
old are separately classed, so that the 2,134,000 " other bulls ", which 
Madras village accountants distinguish from "breeding bulls," may 
contain from 30,000 to 50,000 animals which, in well regulated stock 
management, would be allowed to remain entire. In point of fact, in 
the conditions prevailing in Madras, many bulls are used for draught 
purposes and many of those enumerated among " other bulls " would 


subsequently be castrated and employed in the plough and cart ; but 
the existence of over two million surplus bulls exceeding three years of 
age throws a significant light on the condition of animal husbandry in the 

164. We have seen that the number of cattle kept in the different 
provinces, when related to the net area of land 
s wn> shows a surprising variation. Before discussing 
IN INDIAN PROVIN- the causes for this variation, it will be desirable to 
OES - separate the total number of cattle into different 

categories. Since it is impracticable to distinguish " breeding bulls " from 
" other bulls " and " young uncastrated males/' we class cattle of the 
ox tribe as " bullocks," " cows " and " otters." For buffaloes we have 
adopted the census headings in preparing the following figures : 

Classes of cattle maintained in the major provinces of India and in 
British India compared with the net area sown in 1924-25 

Per 100 acres of net area sown in 1924-25 



(hdinary cattle 



_ . _ 





Adult j Adult 
males ] females 





No. No. 







31 * i * 


Bengal . . 




I I 

Bihar and Orissa 







C Presidency 
Bombay \ Proper. 



I 1 














2 ;; 


Central Provinces and 





2 3 








4 8 


Punjab . . 





1 10 


United Provinces 





2 ! 12 


British India (includ- 
ing Minor Admin- 




10 3 



For British India as a whole, we estimate that for each 100 acres of 
net area sown there are 92 acres of uncultivated land available for grazing, 
to which should be added 21 acres of fallow and that on this total 
area of 213 acres there are supported 20 bullocks, 17 cows, 16 other 
cattle, 3 male buffaloes, 6 she-buffaloes and 5 young buffaloes, a total of 
67 cattle, in addition to 27 sheep and goats and some other stock. 

Having regard to the very poor quality of the grazing available, and 
to the fact that it fails to afford adequate maintenance for cattle at the 
season of the year when fodder grown on cultivated land is scarcest, 
v^e are of opinion that this number of cattle is a heavy stock for land to 


carry. If the cattle are to yield a profit which would be accepted as 
satisfactory in countries where stock keeping is strictly economic, the 
bullocks would require to be fully employed, the cows to be of a heavy 
milking strain and the manure to be carefully conserved and returned 
to the land. 

The number of bullocks employed in different provinces may next be 
discussed. The number of bullocks actually employed on the land is, in 
all cases, less than is stated in the Table above, for the figures include 
bullocks utilised in towns, or by Government, or carting contractors. 
Although, in the aggregate, the number of these must be large, they can, 
in general, form but a small percentage of the total and their inclusion 
should not, therefore, cause any appreciable change in the relative position 
taken by the different provinces. The possible influence of large cities 
should, however, be borne in mind, in examining the figures. 

As is to be expected, the number of bullocks bears a close relationship 
to the number of cultivators and to the average size of holdings. If the 
provinces are arranged in order of the number of tmllocks maintained 
per hundred acres, as is done in the following statement, it will be seen 
that the number of cultivators follows the same order fairly closely, and 
also that the number of cultivators who do not own bullocks must, in 
some provinces, be very large. If. again, the average area cultivated per 
yoke of oxen is compared with the average size of the holding, a close 
relationship is usually disclosed. 

I'er 100 acres of net sown aiea 

A v 01 age 


(male workers) 


Aiea cultivated 
TKT yoke 

Area of 
hold my 


Acres Acre" 

Bombay (Including Bind) . 


8 1 

20'0 12-4 




17 9 


Central Province* ami Bora r . 15 






17 3 

13'0 5 8 




12 9 90 

Bihar and Oi ihsa 



7 4 





7 3 


United Provinces 


29 1 

6'9 .V4 

Bengal .. 





( The number of bullocks required in agriculture is also affected by the 
character of the soil, by the cropping adopted, by the length or shortness 


of the season available for ploughing and sowing, by the size of the 

cattle, and by the extent to which irrigation, especially from wells, 

is practised. Having regard to all these factors, it is to be expected that 

the number of plough bullocks should vary widely in different provinces. 

But, even when allowance has been, made for all these causes, the 

differences disclosed by the census figures are surprisingly large.) In 

order to bring out in concrete form some of the main causes of variation 

in numbers in this and other classes of cattle, a reference is subsequently 

made to the position in a few selected districts. Meantime, attention 

may be directed to certain other points emerging from the figures 

given above. If it is assumed for the moment that all the bullocks 

found in India are necessary, the question arises, what number 

of cows should suffice to rear the required number ? On the 

assumption that the twenty bullocks per hundred acres of net sown 

area, which the census figures show to exist, begin work between three 

and four years of age, and have an average working life of ten years, 

it follows that there should be seven young male cattle under 3 years 

of age to replace wastage. The census figures show sixteen " other " 

cattle of which the proportion of bulls would be between t\vo and three. 

When allowance is made for the fact that approximately half the calves 

born will be heifers, and that casualties must occur, it will be ^een that 

the number of young male cattle available for replacing wastage is likely 

to be between five and six. In view of the very poor quality of many 

calves, the census figures thus lend support to the complaint frequently 

made by witnesses, that the price of bullocks was rising because 

the supply was not equal to the increasing demand. In any case, 

if it were assumed that all the bullocks now kept by cultivators are 

necessary, no reduction in the number of young male cattle would seem 

to be desirable. But when the number of cattle of about three 

years of age and under is compared with the number of cows, a very 

unsatisfactory feature in cattle management emerges. ( Indian cows, if 

properly fed and managed, might be expected to calve about once a year, 

as do the cattle of Europe ; but it is well known that, in the conditions 

usual in India, calving is very irregular. We were informed that cows 

in this country might be expected to calve at intervals of about eighteen 

monthsl The census figures suggest that the average interval may be 

nearer three years than two. It is again necessary to draw attention to 

the need for caution in interpreting the census figures which, under the 

heading * cows ', include many old and barren animals. Moreover, 

although errors in classification do not exist in the columns for bullocks 

and cows to anything like the same extent that they do in the column 

for bulls, it is unquestioned that they may, and do, exist, and a liberal 

margin of error must be allowed for. But when the census figures are 

used with the caution that is required, they clearly point to the conclusion 

which was borne out by the evidence which we heard all over India, 

that the cow, when dry, is the most neglected animal among cattleJ In 

discussing the management of cattle, we shall return to this subject ; m the 

meantime, it may be stated that the census figures support the view that 

it is the demand for good bullocks, and the poor average quality of 


Cattle, which lead breeders to keep many more cows than should be 
necessary to provide the number of bullocks required for draught. 

It should be explained that, if India were a dairying country, and it 
calves and young cattle under three years old were commonly slaugh- 
tered, as they are in most countries, the criticism of the relationship 
which exists between the numbers of the different classes of stock which 
has been made above would not hold good ; and in the case of buffaloes, 
the treatment of which in India more nearly approaches European cattle 
management, the figures must be differently interpreted. The " adult 
male " buffalo of the census shares, in every province, the labour of the 
bullock, but the extent to which it is used in the cart, the plough, or 
the water lift varies widely in different localities. The requirement for 
buffalo bulls is small, and it is substantially correct to say that, in India 
as a whole, the labour of twenty bullocks is supplemented by that of 
three buffaloes. Wherever an important market for butter and (/hi 
exists, it is the she-buffalo which mainly supplies it, and, in most pro- 
vinces, the more substantial cultivators keep buffaloes for producing 
ghi and milk for their own use, or occasionally for sale. Thus it is the 
number of she-buffaloes, not the number of cows, that has to be taken 
into account, when seeking an index of the milk production of a province. 
In parts of India, young male buffaloes are frequently slaughtered, and 
the figures for young stock have not the same significance as in the 
c ase of ordinary cattle. 

While the census figures for cattle in the different provinces, 
when reduced to terms of the net area of land sown, show that wide 
differences in the total number of animals occur and also show a remark- 
able range in the number of buffaloes kept, they do not, disclose such 
differences between the proportions in which the several groups of ordinary 
cattle exist as might have been anticipated. In both Burma and Assam, 
for example, the number of "other" cattle, as compared with bullocks and 
cows, is higher than in India as a whole ; but the difference is much less 
than the great areas of grazing land in these provinces would have led 
us to expect. Again, the census figures give little or no indication of 
the fact that large numbers of cattle are bred in Bihar for export to 
Bengal, and they certainly do not suggest that Bengal is not self- 
supporting, but requires to import many cattle. It may be stated 
that, while there is a surprising difference in the total numbers of 
ordinary cattle between province and province, there would appear to 
be a general similarity throughout India in the methods of management 
followed by owners of cattle. Thus, the relative numbers of bullocks, 
cows, and other cattle vary much less than might be anticipated 
in a country where physical features and climate differ so widely. 

165. This general similarity in management, though unquestionably 
significant, is in part due to the large size of the 
SOILS AND OEOPS ON areas compared. Within the confines of a single 
CATTLE DISTRAIT, province, many different types of agriculture are 
TIONt found, and a closer analysis shows that the soils and 

the crops grown on them exert a marked influence on cattle husbandry. 


This we now proceed to illustrate. It is not possible for us to make the 
full enquiry that is called for into the position occupied by the cattle 
industry in the different Indian districts. This must be left to local 
investigators ; but, as an indication of the differences that occur, and 
to show how easily general statements about Indian cattle may be con- 
tradicted by the experience of particular areas, we have selected for 
comparison three pairs of districts in the United Provinces, the Central 
Provinces and Madras. The selection has been made almost at random, 
but for each province, we have included one district with a light rainfall 
(from 23 to 28 inches) and one district with a medium rainfall (from 
45 to 50 inches). Livestock and other figures for these districts will be 
found in the Table below. For a reason which will appear subsequently, 
figures for Ly all pur in the Punjab have been added to those for the 
three pairs of districts : 




area of 
distrit t 

Net area 
sown (U>25- 

(in OOO's) 

of net area 
sown to 
total area 


of area 
irrigated to 
net area sown 

(in OOO'a) 

(in OOO's) 

Meerut (U. P ) 







Gorakhpur (U P.) 







A kola (C. P.) 






Haipur (C. P.) 







Bellary (Madras) .. 







Tanjore (Madras) . 







Lyallpur (Punjab) . 







Number per 100 acres of net area sown 





Total oxen 




Bulls and 


Meerut (U P.) 





Gorakhpur (U. P ) 

33 18 




Akola (C. P.) 

10* ' 7 





llaipur (C. P.) 

17* 17 






Bellary (Madras) . . 

5 4 





Tanjore (Madras) 

28 21 14 





Lyallpur (Punjab) . . 

13 6 7 





*In the Season and Crop Beport for the Central Provinces bulls and bullocks are Included under the 
same head and young stock of both oxen and buffaloes are shown together For the purposes of 
this Table, it has been assumed that there are 2 bulls to 29 bullocks. Young stock have been divided 
in the proportion of 5 to 1 which is, roughly, the proportion of adult oxen to adult buffaloes, 
the figures for which are given separately. 

Tn addition to Lyallpur, which, for the moment, we exclude from 
consideration, the northern districts selected are Meerut and Gorakhpur, 
both in the United Provinces. 


The main crop of Meerut is wheat ; roughly one-third of the net cropped 
area is under this cereal. Gram is also extensively grown and the area 
under it is about one-third of that under wheat. The chief agricultural 
features of Meerut are, however, the large areas of sugarcane (140,000 
acres) and of fodder crops (180,000 acres). The large amount of sugar- 
cane grown explains why the number of bullocks kept is high. The 
figures for the other kinds of cattle kept show that, although the land is 
heavily stocked, the balance is satisfactory, and the inference from the 
census figures and from the large area under fodder crops is that the 
condition of cattle in the Meerut district is much above the average 
level for the country as a whole. 

In Gorakhpur, over a million acres are under rice and about 650,000 
acres grow wheat and barley. Sugarcane is again an important crop 
(137,000 acres). Fodder crops are grown on 20,000 acres. A very 
large head of stock is kept. The cattle are much smaller than in the 
Meerut district ; the holdings, too, are smaller, and, as in most other rice 
growing tracts, the number of plough bullocks kept is very large. Live- 
stock owners in this district are fortunate in having access to grazing of 
relatively good quality in sub-montane tracts, and the cattle, though small, 
are reported to be of good quality. The conditions in the north of the 
district are typical of those in the better natural breeding grounds. 
The relation between the different classes of livestock kept in 
Meerut and Gorakhpur differs considerably and suggests a higher 
level of stock farming in the former, but Gorakhpur, like Meerut, 
represents conditions more favourable to cattle raising than those 
usually found. 

A sharp contrast in numbers marks the next district to be examined. 
Akola in Berar is typical of the conditions prevailing on black cotton 
soil in this part of India. The net area sown in the district is rather less 
than 2,000,000 acres, but cotton covers 1,000,000 andjuar nearly 600,000 
acres ; other crops are thus of small importance. The grazing in this dry 
district is of little account, and cultivators are forced to grow most of 
the rations fed to their cattle. The result is that cattle are reduced to a 
minimum. There are only 28 per 100 acres of the net area sown, as 
compared with 82 in Gorakhpur, and a pair of bullocks tills over 20 acres 
of land. Although circumstances would not appear to favour the cattle 
owner, we were informed that the cattle of Berar are the best in the 
province. They are expensive to purchase and cultivators take care 
of them. On the other side of the province, in Raipur, there is again 
a sharp contrast. A first glance at the census figures suggests that here 
conditions must be more favourable for the maintenance of livestock, for 
twice as many animals are found per 100 acres of sown land. There is, 
too, a very extensive area (about 560,000 acres) of scrub jungle and grass, 
and a still larger area under forest. Again, while Akola is almost without 
irrigation, Raipur has 230,000 acres of irrigated land. The main crop 
of the district is rice, which occupies 1,500,000 acres. Very 
little land appears to be reserved for fodder crops, and cattle depend 
mainly on rice straw and what they can find in the jungle. A closer 
scrutiny of the cattle figures shows, however, that the position in Raipur 


is far from satisfactory. Cows are as numerous as bullocks, but they 
are unable to provide the number of plough cattle required, and 
male buffaloes are largely used. In spite of the demand for male 
buffaloes, she-buffaloes are few, again suggesting the poverty of the 
ytockowner. The herds of Raipur cattle which we saw were among 
the worst we met with in the course of our tours, and our opinion of them 
was confirmed by the witnesses who appeared before us. 

The lightest, and with the exception of Gorakhpur, the heaviest, 
stock of cattle in the group of contrasted districts are both to be found 
in Madras. The figures for Bellary and Tanjore respectively show very 
clearly the extent to which soil and crops may influence the numbers 
of livestock. In both districts, there is much land nominally available 
for grazing* Ten per cent of the total area of the Bellary district is 
classified as culturable waste, ten per cent as forests and seven per cent 
as not available for cultivation. For Tanjore, the corresponding figures 
are six per cent, one per cent and twenty-seven per cent. We have 
so far assumed that about three-fourths of the area of culturable waste 
and one-fourth of the unculturable waste may be available as grazing 
land. Even if it be granted that this estimate may be wide of the mark, 
no explanation of the fact that Tanjore supports about four times as 
many cattle as Bellary is to be found in the figures of the areas of uncul- 
tivated land in the two districts. It is the character of the tilled soil 
and of the crops grown in Bellary and Tanjore respectively that decides 
the number of cattle kept. In respect of the types of cultivation followed, 
the two districts present as strongly marked a contrast as they do in 
numbers of cattle. Bellary grows hardly any rice ; its chief crops are 
millets (1,500,000 acres) and cotton (500,000 acres). In Tanjore, on the 
other hand, about seventy-seven per cent of the gross sown area is oc- 
cupied by rice (1,116,000 acres) ; compared with it other crops are of very 
small importance ; and here, as in other rice-growing tracts, we find a 
large number of bullocks. It would further appear that male buffaloes are 
freely used for draught, as are also a smaller number of bulls. It is 
unlikely that the total number of draught cattle available in Tanjore 
falls below 32 per 100 acres of net area sown. In Bellary, the stock 
of cattle is remarkably small : in all, 21 per 100 acres of the net sown 
area, as compared with 66 for the whole of the Madras Presidency and 108 
for Bengal. It would appear from the number of " other bulls " recorded 
in the census that three or four of these animals should be added to the 
five bullocks and that the draught cattle in this district amount to eight 
or nine per 100 acres of net area sown. 

Even the few cases which we have examined above suffice to show 
that great differences in the numbers of cattle kept by cultivators are 
to be found in different districts. In cotton and millet growing 
tracts, the total number may lie between twenty and thirty per 100 
acres of net sown area, with from eight to ten plough cattle ; whereas, 
when rice is the predominant crop, between three and four times these 
numbers are to be looked for. Where grazing land of fair quality exists, 
as in the sub-montane tracts of the north, it may be expected to show 
some influence on the numbers of cattle kept ; but, elsewhere, 


it would appear that grazing land as contrasted with tilled land has 
relatively little influence on numbers. In the closely settled districts, 
the total number of ordinary cattle would appear to be pri- 
marily determined by the number of animals needed for work on 
the land. 

In the case of buffaloes, the local demand for milk and ghi and the 
prosperity or poverty of the cultivators are the main factors affecting 
the numbers of females. Where, owing to unusually adverse conditions, 
there is a shortage of bullocks, the she-buffalo may be required to 
supplement the progeny of the starved and infertile cow, and there may 
be a considerable use of male buffaloes on the land. 

166. These statistical notes on Indian cattle may be supplemented by 
CATTLE POPULA FION references to the cattle population of two other 
OF INDIA. IJOLLAND countries, Holland and Egypt, which some of us 
AND KUYI'T. visited in the course of our enquiry. We choose 

Holland because it possesses the largest number of cattle in relation to 
the size of the country. In Egypt, the number of cattle is very small. 
Except for ttfe large place which cattle take in the life and economic 
position of the two countries, there is little in common between Holland 
and India. On the other hand, the conditions in Egypt and in certain 
provinces of India are very similar. 

The figures given below compare the number of cattle maintained per 
100 acres of net sown area in India, where there are extensive fallows, 
and per 100 cultivated acres in Holland and Egypt where fallows are 
of small account. In the two eastern countries, buffaloes as well as 
ordinary cattle are included. 


British India, per 100 acres net sown area . . . . 67 

Holland, per 100 acres cultivated land . . . . 38 

Egypt, per 100 acres cultivated land . . . . 25 

In Holland, horses, and, in Egypt, donkeys are largely used in agri- 
culture. Full-grown Dutch cattle may on the average weigh twice 
as much as Indian, and Dutch cows may give anything from five to ten 
times as much milk as Indian cows. In Egypt, half the cattle consist 
of she -buff aloes. Ordinary cattle are probably, on the average, some- 
what larger in size than those of India. From these figures, the conclusion 
may be drawn that, in whatever respect Indian cattle may be lacking, 
they do not lack numbers. Conditions in Holland and India are so 
different that no further analysis of the cattle position in these two 
countries need be attempted. The general conditions under which agri- 
culture is carried on in Egypt and parts of India are, however, so 
similar that the clue given by the crude comparison made above is worth 
following up. The disparity between the Indian and Egyptian figures 
for cattle is, indeed, greater than is suggested above for a very much 
larger percentage of Egyptian, than of Indian, land is cropped more than 
once, and intensive cropping increases the cattle power required to till 
the land. 




167. A statistical comparison will best serve our immediate purpose 
if, instead of comparing the figures for Egypt and 
British India, we contrast the livestock situation 
in two areas in the respective countries in which 
the general agricultural position presents a strong 
resemblance. Moreover, while at the moment 
primarily interested in cattle, we cannot separate these from other 
animals maintained and used on the land. Sheep and, to a small extent, 
goats compete for food with cattle and buffaloes, especially in Egypt, 
and, in that country, both donkeys and camels are extensively used. 
Further, the whole of Egyptian cultivation depends on irrigation, and 
much land carries two or even three crops in a year. 

With these considerations in view, we propose to compare the Egyptian 
province of Gharbieh, situated about half way between Cairo and 
Alexandria in Lower Egypt and typical of rural conditions in that tract, 
with the Punjab district of Lyallpur. Gharbieh is wholly, and Lyallpur 
almost wholly, dependent on canal irrigation. In both, the soil 
consists of a deep fertile alluvium, and in both, the indigenous wooden 
implements which are in common use call for cattle of about the same 
strength, though a careful survey would probably show that Lyallpur 
cattle are larger and stronger than those of Gharbieh. In both areas, 
the cultivating classes are chiefly Muhammadans, and in both the 
standard of cultivation is high. The remaining comparisons and 
contrasts may best be shown by figures. The crop figures are for 
1924-25 in Gharbieh and 1925-26 in Lyallpur. 

Gross area 

Do. cropped 
Total area of cereals 

Do. of leguminous crops 

Do. of cotton 

Cattle per 100 acres of gross area sown No. 
Buffaloes do. 

Sheep do. 

Goats do. 

Donkeys do . 

Camels do. 

The 318,000 acres of leguminous crops in Gharbieh includes 289,000 
acres of fodder crops, mainly Egyptian clover (berseem). The very 
extensive area under this crop in Gharbieh is the main difference to be 
noted between the cropping of the Egyptian province and that of the 
Punjab district. 

As the Egyptian statistics do not differentiate young stock as do those 
for India, an exact comparison of the classes kept i& unfortunately, 
impossible ; but, if the young stock of Lyallpur are separated into males 




2 to 4 

12 to 14 














VIL No. 






j j 











und females as in Gharbieh, then the cattle in the two areas may be further 
compared as follows : 

Tor 100 acres of gross area sown Gharbieh Lyallpur 

Ordinary cattle, males .. .. 3*0 17 '5 

Do. females .. .. 4'1 6'7 

Buffaloes, males .. 0*4 1*8 

Do. females .. 9'0 21 '5 

The cultivators of Lyallpur district are perhaps the most prosperous in 
India and they are able to afford ail the cattle they require. In comparing 
the numbers of livestock kept in the two areas, there is, in this case, no 
reason for holding that the number of cattle kept in Lyallpur is greatly 
in excess of the numbers which should be ' kept ; the indications are 
rather that the zamindars of Lyallpur are much better off than the 
fellaheen of Gharbieh. The chief point of interest that emerges from 
the comparison is that with such a very small number of draught animals 
as are kept in Gharbieh, the Egyptian fellaheen should be able to maintain 
so high a standard of cultivation as they do. 

Since, in both Lyallpur and Gharbieh. a large proportion of the land 
is cropped more than once, the above comparison is made on the basis 
of the gross area sown ; a comparison on the basis of " net area " would 
have been unfair, especially to Egypt. But as we huve adopted the 
" net area sown " as a basis for India, we have included figures calculated 
for the net area of Lyallpur in the Table on page LS5. It will be 
seen that Lyallpur makes an economical use of draught cattle a? compared 
with other Indian district?. Fewer are used in Akola and Bellary, but 
the labour required by the unirrigated crops of those districts cannot -be 
compared with that necessary for the irrigated crops of Lyallpur. 

Gharbieh, as we have shown, is an Egyptian province which can 
challenge comparison, in respect of its cultivation, with an Indian district 
that bears so high a reputation as Lyallpur. The contrast in the cattle- 
position of the two brings out clearly the extent to which it might be 
possible to reduce the number of working bullocks in India without 
necessarily reducing the existing standard of cultivation. 

168. In the foregoing discussion of the numbers of cattle found in 
EXISTENCE OP A different parts of the country, little has been said ot 
vicious CIRCLE IN the relative sizes of the animals. It is, of course, 
necessary that full allowance should be made for 
differences of size and of quality, and had we here been concerned 
with a comparison of the value of livestock in the several 
provinces, we should have had much to say on this subject ; btt^ 
this was not our purpose. Nor must it be supposed that, because of 
differences in size and value, the counting of heads by census enumerators 11 
can be of little practical use. We believe that careful scrutiny of the 
figures would bring out much useful information of a kind likely to correct 
the numerous and contradictory opinions expressed by persons having 
experience on*ly of the conditions in particular districts . As the result of 
our examination of the subject, we may state that we agree with those 


witnesses who expressed the opinion that India is attempting to maintain 
an excessive number of cattle ; but it should be observed that this view is 
not inconsistent with the other, namely, that good cultivation in many 
parts of the country may now be hindered, because of a deficiency of 
bullock power. There are areas in the Central Provinces, for example, 
infested with kam grass, where cattle, though sufficiently numerous, 
are not strong enough for the work required of them. 

We are of opinion that the census figures suggest the existence 
of a vicious circle. /The number of cattle within a district depends upbn, 
and is regulated by, the demand for bullocks. The worse the conditions 
for rearing efficient cattle are, the greater the numbers kept tend to be. 
Cows become less fertile, and their calves become undersized and do not 
satisfy cultivators, who, in the attempt to secure useful bullocks, breed 
more and more cattle. As numbers increase, or as the increase of tillage 
encroaches on the better grazing land, the pressure on the available supply 
of food leads to still further poverty in the cows ; and'a stage is reached 
when oxen from other provinces or male buffaloes are brought yi to 
assist in cultivation. This stage has been reached in Bengali The cows 
of that province are no longer equal to what, in any reasonably managed 
herd, would be an easy task. But, as the male buffalo is either not 
available or is not suited to ordinary field work, large numbers of oxen are 
imported to supplement those locally bred. As cattle grow smaller in size 
and greater in number, the rate at which conditions become worse for 
breeding good livestock is accelerated. For it must not be supposed that 
the food required by a hundred small cattle is the same in quantity as that 
needed by fifty of double the size. As cattle become smaller, the amount 
of food needed in proportion to their size increases. Thus, if a certain 
weight of fodder maintained one hundred cattle weighing 10 cwts. each 
for a year, the same supply would last two hundred cattle weighing 5 cwts. 
each only for about eight months. Large numbers of diminutive cattle 
are, therefore, a serious drain on a country in which the fodder supply is 
so scarce at certain seasons of the year as it is in India. 

The process has gone so far, India has acquired so large a cattle 
population and the size of the animals in many tracts is so small 
that the task of reversing the process of deterioration and of improving 
the livestock of this country is now a gigantic one ; but on improvement in 
cattle depends to a degree that is little understood the prosperity of 
agriculture, and the task must be faced. 

169 The complaint that cattle in India are deteriorating is an old 

DETERIORATION OF one. It is mentioned by a traveller* in India at the 
INDIAN CATTLE. en d o f the eighteenth century and it was a common 

topic of discussion throughout the nineteenth century. It is impossible 
ijitner to prove or to disprove that average specimens of Indian cattle 
ffee better or worse than they were a century, or ten centuries, ago. No 
lull records of their former condition exist, and, if records did exist, it would 
not be possible to use them so as to show how the 150 million cattle of 
to-day compare with the 100 millions of a former period. On the evidence 

*Dr. Buchanan-Hamilton's " Journey through Mysore, Canara and Malabar"' ^1800), 
quoted i Watt's Dictionary of the Economic Products of India. 


placed before us, we can, however, state that the difficulty of securing 
good bullocks and good cows has increased in recent years ; thus, 
in relation to the existing demand, the quality of the supply has deterio- 
rated. There was also much evidence to the effect that conditions for 
breeders of cattle are now more difficult than formerly. While the 
evidence of witnesses points to the probability that deterioration is 
going on, our own examination of the position, created primarily by the 
increasing demand for bullocks owing to the extension of cultivation, 
leads us to the conclusion that conditions have arisen, and are already at 
work, which cannot fail to prejudice livestock, and that cattle such as 
the deplorable animals now to be seen, for example, in parts of Bengal 
and of the Central Provinces, must become more common unless 
substantial changes in the existing management take place. 

170. Many suggestions for improvement have been made and the 
ESSENTIAL POINT* sub j ect is now engaging the attention of experts 

IN A POLICY OF CATTLE in all provinces. To these suggestions and efforts 
IMPROVEMENT. we shall later allude. (In the meantime, we would 

emphasise two cardinal points in any policy of cattle improvement. The 
first is the necessity for attention to all matters that would tend to 
decrease the number of bullocks required for cultivation. Improvement 
in this respect would be secured by any measures calculated to check 
the subdivision and fragmentation of holdings, to increase the efficiency 
of the cultivator's tillage implements or to facilitate transport, whether 
by improvement of his roads or by other means, as well as by measures 
aiming at an increase in the strength of the bullocks themselves. The 
second is the necessity for efforts to secure for dry cows and cows in-calf 
better treatment than they now receive. Before developing this latter 
point, it will be necessary to refer to the management of cattle^ 

171. The horizon of the Indian peasant is narrowly bounded by his 

poverty and his illiteracy. Like the poor in all 

THE CULTIVATOR AS L , I'll- / -i i -, 

A STOCK MANAGER. countries, he is lacking in foresight and prudence, 
and he prizes a rupee in the hand more than two, or 
for that matter ten, at some future period of time. He adheres strictly 
to this policy in managing his cattle. (He feeds his bullocks as well as 
he can while they are a-t work ; if they have cost him dear and he is proud 
of them, as many cultivators are, he will even go to some expense and 
trouble to keep up their condition during slack seasons. But the expense 
must make no heavy inroad on his small means, and the trouble must not 
cause a serious encroachment on his time during his own slack season. 

Among the many millions of cultivators of British India, there is no 
one type. But it is only the minority who contrive, in spite of their 
difficulties to keep their plough cattle really well. Others keep their 
cattle in condition when seasons are good and out of condition when 
seasons are bad. Others, again, never show reasonable care for their 
plough cattle. 

172. To turn from general statements to detail, we have obtained from 

the agricultural departments in each province an 

PLOUGH WTLE. 8 * account of the way in which the average cultivator, 

in typical districts feeds his plough cattle, and an. 


estimate of what this costs him. A summary of this information will be 
found in Appendix IV on page 697 . We shall here cite some examples 
which will convey an indication of the variations which occur in practice. 
In the first place, it may be observed that, in asking the agricultural 
departments what it costs the average cultivator to feed his plough cattle, 
we set them a difficult task and their replies must be regarded 
more as an answer to the question " How would the average cultivator 
like to feed his plough cattle ? " than to the question " How does he feed 
them and what is the cost ? '(in many instances, the shortage of bulky 
fodders, because of dry seasons or the small area of land available for 
growing cereals, and the insufficiency of concentrated feeding stuffs, 
because of lack of money to buy oil-cakes, etc., must prevent the average 
cultivator from giving his cattle the rations he would like to provide^ 
Again to the question " What does it cost ? " it is seldom possible to 
give a satisfactory answer, or at least an answer suitable for tabulation. 
In Appendix IV, the value of the foodstuffs used has been set 
out under two headings, " roughage " and " concentrates." It is 
not difficult to estimate the price to be attached to the concentrated 
foods used, for, whether grown or purchased, these have a readily 
ascertainable market value. It is otherwise with the roughage or bulky 
fodders. Near centres of population, such foodstuffs as the straw of 
wheat and rice, or the stalks (kadbi) of^warand bajra may be readily 
salable ; but, in the majority of cases, these fodders can only be sold 
in small quantities, and the bulk must be used by feeding them to 
livestock. The value of the small percentage actually sold varies widely 
in different parts of the country. Thus, for example, in Burma, rice 
straw has been priced at the low figure of three annas per maund, whereas 
in the Central Provinces, a price of eight annas and in Madras of thirteen 
annas has been assigned to it. It will be evident that it is very difficult to 
arrive at the cost of such material as weed grasses collected in the fields by 
members of the cultivator's family, or of sugarcane tops which, if not con- 
sumed by cattle, would be burned. But while such considerations indicate 
that a wide margin of error must be allowed for in comparing the estimates 
of the cost to the cultivator of the roughage fed in different districts, it 
would be entirely erroneous to assume that, because a cultivator pays no 
money for such fodders, they are valueless. They have in every case what 
agriculturists term a " consuming value," and although, in Indian con- 
ditions, it is not an easy matter to assign to them a money value that will 
stand criticism, it is clear that the intrinsic value of the material must 
often be high. If, throughout India, there were (as there is in parts of 
Burma) a surplus of coarse fodders readily accessible to cultivators, it 
would be permissible to ignore the values attached to roughage, but this is 
far from being the case. The scarcity is such that, in many districts, 
there is great difficulty in bringing bullocks through the hot season in a 
condition fitting them for hard work in the monsoon. In most districts, 
the allowance of the better fodders available for cows is much too small ; 
indeed it frequently happens that none of the stored fodders can be 
spared for cows. Wherever such conditions exist, the coarse fodders 
have a value which may be closely estimated when the cost of purchased 
MO Y 28613 


oilcakes, etc., is known. For example, in the Guigaon district of the 
Punjab, where a mixture of gram and oilcake is the usual concentrated 
food used, and where wheat and barley are common cereal crops, if a 
cultivator's stock of straw were no more than sufficient to carry his 
bullocks through the dry season, and the price of concentrated foods 
averaged Es. 3-8 per maund, the value of straw to him would be 
approximately fourteen annas per maund* The rate per maund charged 
in the estimate for this district is eight annas. 

The total values placed upon the rations fed to a pair of bullocks 
during the year will be found in the last column of the Table in 
Appendix IV. The figures vary widely, but an examination of the 
details will show that this, in itself, need be no reason for distrusting 
them. The lowest cost, Es. 15 per annum per pair of bullocks, is 
returned from the Sibsagar district of Assam. The cattle of this 
district are very small. They receive meagre rations of rice straw and 
rice bran while at work ; but it is clear that they must find the greater 
part of their food for themselves in the jungle, or in fields where rice 
straw remains uncut after the ears of paddy have been harvested. 
Next in order of cheapness comes a Sind district in which cattle work 
for 2 J months in the year only, and again find much of their food for 
themselves. Although kadbi is given them for about seven months, both 
the ration fed and the rate per maund allowed for the fodder are very 
low. Among the higher costs returned are Es. 234 from Montgomery in 
the Punjab, Es. 224 from a cotton tract in Madras and Es, 211 from a 
wheat and cotton tract in the Central Provinces. If the very small 
cattle of Bengal and Assam and those in the parts of Burma where fodder 
is plentiful are excluded from consideration, it may b# said that the cost 
of feeding the ordinary cultivator's cattle, as he himself would like to 
feed them, may range from about Es. 100 to about Es. 200 per pair per 
annum, according to the crops locally grown, and that, in most cases, 
the cost would lie between Es. 125 and Es. 175. If nothing is allowed 
for the value of the roughage grown or collected by the cultivator, 
and a price is attached only to concentrated foods such as grain and 
oilcakes, the outlay per pair of bullocks is estimated to range from 
nothing at all to about Es. 110, A common figure would be Es. 40 to 
Es. 80 according to the work done. To the cost of feeding there must be 
added interest on purchase price and a figure for depreciation in value, 
which, in the case ot a pair of young bullocks costing Es. 200, would add 
to the cost of feeding a sum ot not less than Es. 25 per annum. 

We have seen from the figures on page 1 81 that, for British India as 
a whole, there are 20 bullocks per 100 acres of the net sown area. 
This figure includes bullocks not employed in agriculture, but does not 
include he-buffaloes and bulls working on the land. We are, therefore, 
more likely to understate than to overstate the case, if we conclude 
that, for British India as a whole, a pair of bullocks suffices for the 
tillage of not more than ten acres of the land sown in any year ; and, 

* Valued on starch-equivalent basis of 65 : 16. 


from the figures we have discussed above, it is obvious that the cost of 
bullock labour per acre must be very heavy. 

In a question bearing so intimately on the economic position of the 
cultivator as the cost to him of his bullocks' labour, we recognise 
the objections that may be urged against resorting to estimates of cost ; 
but, in the absence of figures giving the actual cost, no other course is 
open to us. We believe that the estimates we have given fairly represent 
the cost of keeping bullocks in reasonably good working condition and 
we are warranted in this belief by reference to actual costs as determined 
in one province. 

Under the auspices of the Board of Economic Inquiry of the Punjab, 
Mr. H. K. Stewart, Professor of Agriculture, and Mr. S. K. Singh, Assistant 
Professor, at the Lyallpur College, have recently been engaged in deter- 
mining the cost of feeding plough cattle in certain Punjab districts. To 
the actual cost of feeding, they have added twenty per cent of the value 
of the cattle for interest and depreciation. This rate, which is substan- 
tially larger than the rate we have assumed in our estimate, is based on 
the experience of the localities investigated. The results of the enquiries 
may be summarised as follows. In the Lyallpur district, on a holding 
of 111 acres worked by the owner with hired labour, thirteen bullocks 
were kept, and the cost of maintenance per pair worked out at Rs. 271 
in one year, and at Rs. 283-3 in the next. The average cost per acre 
of bullock labour was Rs. 16-9. On a holding of 46 J acres worked on a 
partnership (siri) system, four bullocks were kept ; the cost of mainten- 
ance per pair came to Rs. 338 and the cost of bullock labour per acre 
to Rs. 14-9. In this instance, the high cost of maintenance is largely 
attributable to the work demanded from the cattle ; the usual area culti- 
vated by a pair of bullocks in the Lyallpur district is from 12 to 16 acres, 
in this case it was 23. On a holding of 28 acres worked on the batai 
(half share of produce) system, four bullocks were kept ; the cost per 
pair was Rs. 175, and per acre Rs. 12-8. On a larger property of 88 
acres cultivated by three tenants (employing six pairs of bullocks) on 
the batai system, the cost of maintenance per pair varied from Rs. 188 to 
Rs. 240, and the average cost of bullock labour per acre was Rs. 14-5. 

In the Montgomery district, where the cattle were of poorer quality 
than in Lyallpur and the feeding was inferior, the cost of maintaining a 
pair of bullocks on a holding of about 175 acres held by six tenants on the 
batai system varied from Rs. 86 to RB. 145. The cost of bullock labour 
per acre ranged from Rs. 7-7 to Rs. 12-9, and averaged Rs. 9-6. These 
figures show how widely the cost of maintaining cattle may vary in two 
adjacent districts ; and even as between the tenants on a single property. 
Similar investigations, so far as we are aware, have not been made in other 
parts of India ; but the estimate t we received from the farm at the 
Coimbatore Agricultural College must approximate closely to the actual 
cost of maintaining bullocks there. It may be noted, therefore, that at 
Coimbatore, where cattle are in regular work for from seven to eight 
months in the year, the cost of feeding comes to Rs. 260 per pair per 

MO Y 286 13a 


173. In paragraph 164, we have pointed out the very heavy 

tax which the large number of cattle main- 
A HE U AVY C iTEM A iNTHE tained per 100 acres of sown area imposes on the 
COST OF PRODUCTION, produce of the soil of the country. The angle from 

which we there approached the subject was that of 
the stockowner concerned to provide for his animals the necessary supply 
of fodder. We have here approached it from another point of view, that 
of the husbandman thinking of the profits that can be made from tillage, 
and concerned to keep down the costs of production. ^Whichever stand- 
point is adopted, whether it is desired that cattle should be adequately 
fed, or that the land should yield a better livelihood to the cultivator, 
the same conclusion emerges.^ India must endeavour to effect a reduction 
in the numbers and an increase in the efficiency of its plough cattle. 

174. There is a third point of view from which this subject may be 

discussed, a point of view which should make special 
N appeal to the people of this country ; it is that of 
TREATMENT OF cows, the welfare of the cow, than which there is no 

domestic animal moie mismanaged. It has been 
necessary to refer at some length to the feeding of bullocks ; but, 
unfortunately, it is not necessary to describe at any length the 
treatment of the cow. Broadly, it would be true to say that, if there 
is any fodder available after the draught cattle are fed, she gets it, or 
shares it with young stock ; for the rest she is left to find food where 
she can. Where the cow provides some milk for the household, as well 
as for her calf, cultivators try to spare her two to three pounds of a 
mixture of cotton seed and bran, or oilcake, or pulse ; but, when her 
milk fails, the ration is withdrawn, and she is turned adrift to find a 
living for herself on " grazings". To the quality of the " grazings " 
we shall presently refer ; but, before doing so, a reference to buffaloes is 

175. ^The she-buffalo, rather than the cow, is the milk producing animal 
MANAGEMENT OF of India. Her milk is richer, containing as it does 

BUFFALOES. from two to three per cent more butter-fat than that 

of the ordinary cow, and, wherever there is a good market for milk and 
its products, it is the buffalo that is kept to supply it. Her treatment is 
very different in most localities from that of the cow. She is carefully 
tended by the women of the household, and not infrequently selection is 
exercised in her breeding. Little attention to buffalo breeding has so far 
been given by the newly appointed livestock officers ; their efforts are 
mainly, and rightly, directed to the more pressing problem presented by 
ordinary cattle ; but the cultivator himself, though he keeps no milk 
records, is well aware of the quantity of milk and ghi produced by 
the buffalo, and when specially good specimens exist in a village, there 
is, at least in some distiicts, a " waiting list " for the female calves that 
may be to spare.) Moreover, in northern Gujarat which, if any part 
of the country can claim to be a dairying district, is entitled to be so 
described we understand that cultivators are most careful to mate their 
buffalo cows with selected bulls ; and from what is known of the quality 


of buffaloes in certain other tracts, it is likely that the same practice 
is followed. 

The male buffalo, unless he is set aside for breeding in those districts 
where good buffaloes are appreciated, shares the fate, so far as 
management goes, of the ox tribe. Indeed, his position may be worse. 
No special sanctity attaches to the buffalo. When milk is of no special 
value, he may survive to take his change on the common pasture, but we 
were informed by an expert witness familiar with northern Gujarat 
that the male calf of no special merit is allowed to die a natural (sic) 
death from starvation. The fate of the calf, in cases where there is a 
keen demand for milk, is a point that seems to have been overlooked 
by those who find in the development of dairy farming a prime solution 
for the problem presented by the improvement of cattle in India. 

176. We have now reached a point at which the position of cattle 
THEjovEssroflKjNG management may be summarised. The ordinary 
OF THE COMMON cultivator does what he can for his plough 
GRAZING LAND. cattle and j^ ^-buffaloes ; quite often he does 

well for them, but bad seasons create difficulties for even the best 
cultivator, and the best of his cattle. The cow is less fortunate ; she 
gets little stall feeding and has to seek the greater part of her food where 
she can ; young cattle and the male offspring of her 'rival, the 
she-buffalo, share her fate and pick up their livelihood on common 
grazing ground, or by raiding crops, and who that knows these common 
grazings can blame the raiders ! But this raiding of crops, which is an 
almost universal consequence of the mismanagement of cattle in India, 
is a very serious matter for the cultivator himself ; it frequently presents 
to him the alternative of heavy losses, or of sleepless nights. 

We have already referred to grazing land, but, for a clear under- 
standing of the position in respect of the common grazing land near 
villages, some further remarks are called for. We were informed in 
evidence that there is no shortage of grass in India. In a sense, this is 
true. But it is also true that, in existing conditions, this grass is of 
little use to the stock of the ordinary cultivator, for it is not accessible. 
Cattle can, and do, travel considerable distances in search of fodder; 
but the effort involved in walking calls for a corresponding increase in the 
amount they must consume in order to maintain their bodies. As a 
minimum supply of fodder must be secured, if not daily at least weekly, 
a point is soon reached when the energy expended in collection exceeds the 
energy which the fodder consumed is capable of yielding up to the animal's 
body. / The greater the natural demand made on the body by the produc- 
tion or milk or the support of the growing foetus, the more difficult 
becomes the task of collecting within a day or a week the fodder that 
is essential to maintain existence. It is this difficulty that confronts 
stock owners in the more closely settled districts. In nearly every 
part of the country, the common grazing lands, and all grass lands close 
to villages, are hopelessly overstocked, j This view was impressed upon 
us by many witnesses. Expressions sucn as " every village overstocked 
with herds of wretched starving cattle," "deplorably poor cattle," 


" weedy animals eating up food " were repeated with variations almost 
everywhere ; and that these statements were true we had many oppor- 
tunities of seeing for ourselves. 

(The reasons given by witnesses for this overstocking were many : the 
keeping of cattle by others than cultivators ; the keeping of cattle to 
produce manure for fuel, or for enriching the tilled land, on which, in 
some districts, they are folded ; the practice adopted by landowners of 
letting grazing land to contractors, whose interest it was to secure as many 
head of cattle as possible at a fixed fee ; the action of landowners in 
permanently settled tracts in letting out all their land for tillage ; similar 
action by Government in temporarily settled tracts j) the abundance of 
free grazing land ; the demarcation of forest areas ; tne high fees charged 
for forest grazing ; the low fees charged for forest grazing ; the absence of 
enclosures ; the effect of indiscriminate grazing on the quality of the 
herbage ; Hindu sentiment ; the growth of industrialism ; the lack of 
education ; but we need not continue the list which the special 
knowledge or the lively imagination of our witnesses has supplied. 
Nor do we propose to discuss these opinions here ; our purpose is to 
show how many are the causes that may contribute to the overstocking 
of grazing land in India and how widely views differ on the subject. 
We would only point out that, in existing conditions, it is impossible 
for the cow to breed regularly and to bring up the kind of calf 
which will develop into the strong active bullock for which the demand 
is so keen. Many '* misfits " must result from the deplorable 
conditions which now exist. The cultivator cannot get the quality of 
bullock he seeks ; the effort to compensate by quantity for lack of 
quality continues ; further turns are taken in the vicious circle as the 
years pass, and the condition of cattle tends to become worse. 

177. To conclude a review of cattle management in India on this 
pessimistic note would be to convey a wrong 

MANY IHIMAS j0jysj>*. impression. We have throughout had in mind the 
cattle of the ordinary cultivator, whose business is not that of the stock 
breeder but that of the crop grower, whose interest centres mainly in his 
plough cattle, or in the buffaloes tended by his women-folk, and who 
has never had more than a very few animals in his charge. After 
what has been said, it may appear to be inconsistent to state that there 
are in India many fine cattle belonging to a number of well recognised 
breeds. Where are these cattle to be found and how have they been 
bred ? To the first of these questions, the answer is that they can be 
found in widely separated parts of the country, from the hilly tracts where 
the North- West Frontier Province meets the Punjab in which as one 
witness put it, bulls of the Dhanni breed " walk the pasture in kingly 
flashing coats " to Madras, where the quality of the Kangayam cattle 
of the Pattagar of Palayakottai has won for his herd more than local 
fame. To the question " How have they been bred ? " it is more difficult 
to give an answer ; but our evidence points to the conclusion that these 
fine breeds o cattle have, in recent years at least, owed little to the great 
landowners of the country. Some of them, it may be, are endeavouring 


to improve their cattle, but we mention the Pattagar of Palayakottai 
because his was almost the only herd which was brought to our notice 
as an outstanding example of careful cattle breeding. lf enquiry were 
to be made into the history of such breeds as the Ponwar of the United 
Provinces, the Hariana and Sahiwal of the Punjab, the Thar Parkar 
and Sindhi (Karachi) of Sind, the Malvi of Central India, the Kankrej 
of Gujarat, the Gir of Kathiawar, the Gaolaoof the Central Provinces and 
the Ongole of Madras, we believe it would be found, in most cases, that 
their excellence was due to the care bestowed on them by the profes- 
sional cattle breeders, usually nomadic, who were formerly common in 
India,Tbut who are now abandoning grazing as the result of the 'spread 
of cultivation. Many references to these herdsmen and to the 
part they took in supplying cattle to cultivators will be 
found in gazetteers describing former conditions in India. In some 
localities, their disappearance has been welcomed, for they frequently 
combined the professions of crop raiding with that of cattle rearing ; but, 
in districts in which they adhered to their legitimate business, their loss is 
to be deplored. They were the only members of the rural population 
who paid attention to breeding and understood the management of cattle ; 
they usually worked under unfavourable conditions, but their skill in 
selecting and tending cattle was so considerable that they were able to 
show good herds. 

178. We now turn to examine the many suggestions for the improve- 

IMPBOVBMENT OF ment * cattle which have been placed before us. 

CATTLE : DIFFICULTIES Bef oiQ we deal with these suggestions or describe the 

FACING THE ouLTi- action which is being taken by agricultural depart- 

VATOR. , ., - n ! f , , J.-L U' i. C 

menttt, it will be useful to examine the vsubject of 
livestock improvement from the cultivator's point of view. That the 
cattle of India are deteriorating for reasons partly, though not entirely, 
outside his control is the view of a number of experienced witnesses who 
gave evidence before us. This process must be arrested, if the cultiva- 
tor's position is not to suffer. It can be assumed by those responsible 
for attempting to secure improvements that he will play his part, if he 
is made to understand that part clearly, for, although no breeder, he 
tends his plough cattle carefully enough, so long as food is provided by 
his holding, or can be procured without much personal effort. But he 
is by no means willing to make an unusual sacrifice on behalf of his cattle. 
It is in this last respect that he differs from the peasant of many western 
countries. (In western lands, the stockowner is held responsible for 
finding food for his cattle. If, with all his exertions, he is unable to keep 
them in a fairly efficient condition, he sells them. His personal 
responsibility has been fixed on him by tradition and custom) 

(in India, the position is entirely different ; the custom is that the 
animal, when not working, should find its own food on the village 
common, or on uncropped land, or in the jungle, when there is no fodder 
available on the holding. The by-products of cereals and pulses are 
stored and fed to cattle as long as they last ; but very rarely indeed 
do cultivators resort to outside sources, for example, to the 


supplies of baled dry grass available in forests.) Thus, we were in- 
formed in the Central Provinces, where much grass is baled in the forests, 
that in one locality only did cultivators purchase it, or cut it for them- 
selves. In Bihar and Orissa again, we were told of a case in which an 
abundance of grass could be got for the taking, but no use was made of 
it by local cultivators. In other provinces, we were informed that, in 
accordance with the general policy favoured by the forest departments, 
forest officers would gladly encourage grass cutting by villagers, but 
that no demand for it existed. These forest supplies are looked upon 
as famine reserves, not to be used in normal times. This difference 
between the cattle owners of the East and West must be kept in mind 
in considering all suggestions for cattle improvement. Actions which 
in many countries have by tradition become reprehensible, and which 
by law would now render owners liable to prosecution, are here regarded 
in an entirely different light ; the neglected state of a poor man's 
cattle may win for him his neighbour's sympathy in his misfortune, but 
evokes no criticism. 

The unfortunate effects, from the point of view of livestock improve- 
ment, of the attitude of mind we have described above need no emphasis. 
This attitude can only be combated by education and by leadership. 
The cultivator himself can scarcely be blamed if he finds it difficult to alter 
a point of view which has been inherited from a long line of ancestors. 
The handicaps imposed by nature add heavily to the handicaps imposed 
by tradition. Calamities such as drought followed by fodder famine in 
peninsular India, or floods in Bengal and Assam, have to be faced at 
frequent intervals, and in every season, in most parts of India, there is a 
period when fodder is so scarce that the generous feeding of cattle 
becomes almost impossible. 

^ Apart from fodder shortage, the cultivator's efforts to improve his 
stock may be nullified by an outbreak of contagious disease. It is, indeed, 
the fear of loss from disease that tempts many to keep a larger stock 
than is absolutely necessary and thus increases the difficulty of feeding 
cattle properly. Finally, in only one tract in India, the north Gujarat 
districts of Bomba} 7 ', is the enclosure of fields usual, so that a 
cultivator desirous of improving his cattle is faced with the formidable 
obstacle presented by common grazing. In pointing to the example of 
Britain, as was done by one of the most prominent scientific men in 
India when giving evidence before us in Bengal, it must be recalled 
that it was not until British cattle were, in the eighteenth century, 
protected by the introduction of root crops from the semi-starvation 
which, until then, had been the fate of many of them during the winter 
months, and not until enclosures made it possible for farmers in Britain 
to control the promiscuous mating of animals, that the breeding of the 
livestock for which that country is now famous became possible. 

Let there then be no misunderstanding of the situation in approaching 
the subject of cattle improvement. It is not only his conservatism, his 
entirely natural inclination to follow the methods of his ancestors, that 


handicaps the cultivator in bettering the condition of his cattle. 
The climate in which he works and the open-field system of the vast 
majority of his villages make the task of the would-be improver most 

179. The suggestions for the improvement of livestock which were 
SUGGESTIONS FOR ma de to us group themselves under the two heads, 

IMPROVEMENT IN CATTLE feeding and breeding. We shall deal first with 
FEEDING. those relating to the feeding of stock, for we 

are satisfied that no substantial improvement in the way of breeding is 
possible until cattle can be better fed. The crux of the situation is the 
period of scarcity which, in most, though not in all, parts of the country, is 
the two or three months preceding the break of the south-west monsoon. 
It is the hardship endured throughout this period that, more than 
anything else, makes the cow an irregular breeder, that reduces her 
natural milking qualities until she is unable to suckle a healthy calf, that 
leads to the scarcity of good bullocks, and that creates the urge which 
covers the village grazing grounds of India with the cattle deplored in 
every one of our volumes of evidence. 

180. Since it is the curtailment of uncultivated land as population 

has increased during the past century that is 
THE QUESTION OF the most obvious cause of the present over- 

ADDITIONS TO GRAZING stockmg rf vfllftge grazing g rOU ndS, it is not 

surprising that many witnesses have advocated 

the extension of grazing land. It is unquestioned that, given 
certain conditions, such an extension would relieve the situation. If 
the number of cattle were not to increase, if a sufficient area of grazing 
land could be found to carry the existing stock easily in normal seasons, 
if provision were made for supplementary fodder in years of scarcity, 
then it would not be a difficult task for skilled graziers, first of all to add 
greatly to the output of the grazing grounds by stocking them in 
rotation, and subsequently to effect marked improvement in the quality 
of the cattle. We have already alluded to the effects ot climate on the 
grazing lands of India. They must always be poor, as compared with 
the pastures of moist temperate countries, but there is no question 
that they could be improved, and that, if part of the grass growing 
luxuriantly in the monsoon could be harvested and converted into good 
hay or silage, for use after vegetation dries up, they would carry more, 
and would certainly carry better, cattle than they now do. Some 
countries are so fortunately situated as regards climate that their 
grazing lands produce herbage of a kind capable of supporting good cattle 
at all seasons of the year. India does not come within this category. 
A few limited areas in the north supply fair grazing, but, in most parts 
of the country, the grass which grows in the monsoon either shrivels up 
entirely in the dry season or becomes so coarse as to be incapable of 
nourishing cattle properly. (Thus it is clear that, even if it were a 
practicable measure to extend grazing lands largely in populous districts, 
and means could be found for restricting the increase in cattle which, 
in the absence of restrictions, would certainly follow, no adequate solution 


of the problem set by cattle improvement would be forthcoming merely 
as a result of extending the grazing areas. 

Those who point to the difficulties created by the extension of cultiva- 
tion at the expense of natural grazing lands forget that it is not solely 
the contraction of these lands that has accentuated the difficulties of cattle 
owners ; but and this is the more important cause of the conditions 
which they describe with the breaking up of land for tillage, the local 
population has increased, the need for draught cattle has become 
greater and, following an increase in draught cattle, cows and young 
stock have become more numerous. Where, in the past, the relatively 
few animals required in some particular area may have been supported 
without difficulty, the larger herds of stock now existing could not be 
maintained in equally good condition even if the grazing lands were 
restored to their original extent. In short, the former conditions could 
only be reproduced by depopulating the area and turning men adrift in 
order to make room for cattle. This is, indeed, a change which has 
been forced upon some countries by economic pressure ; but, in 
India, apart from the sociological evils which a clearance of the 
rural population would* create, a change in this direction would be 
absurd from the economic point of view. To effect an improve- 
ment in the conditions of the livestock, it would be necessary to 
drive cattle as well as men off the land, and the scanty produce of the 
acres restored to grass would leave the tract poorer, not richer, than 
before. It would be possible to make a close estimate of the loss in 
produce per acre which the conversion of cultivated land into grazing 
ground would be likely to involve in typical cases ; but we are of opinion 
that such estimates would serve no useful purpose, for it is clearly im- 
practicable to give effect to the wishes of those who desire to restore the 
former position and to dispossess cultivators of their fields in order that 
grazing grounds may be extended. 

A number of witnesses suggested that the additional grazing areas 
required could be found by throwing forests open to cattle. In 
our chapter on Forests, we express the view that more use should be 
made of forests for grazing ; but that the complete removal of all 
restrictions on grazing would have little effect in extending the existing 
grazing areas may be demonstrated by a reference to figures. 

There are in British India (excluding Burma) about 300 million acres 
not occupied by crops. If current fallows are excluded, the area is about 
256 million acres ; of this area, forests closed to grazing account for 15 
million acres, or about six per cent, of which about 7 million acres are 
open to grass ciitters. A large proport^i of the remaining area is either 
distant from cultivated tracts, or so deiBly occupied by forest trees that 
no grass grows on it. If an attempt were made to amend the estimate 
of the area actually available as grazing land in British India (which, 
excluding Burma, we put at about U6 million acres) by adding to it all 
the useful grazing land included in forests in which neither grazing nor 
grass cutting is now permitted, it is improbable that the addition could 
exceed five per cent ; it is indeed likely that it would be much less. 


181. Thus, when we come to examine the advice given by so many 

. witnesses that provision should be made for 

NECESSITY FOB ,. r , . , . 

IMPROVEMENT OF extending grazing areas for the purpose of improv- 

EXISTING GRAZING ing cattle, we find that no large additions are 
RESOURCES. possible ; there is no need, therefore, to examine the 

contention of other witnesses who stated that an extension of grazing 
areas would, in existing conditions, merely aggravate the evil which it 
was sought to cure. 

(Jit follows that, since relief cannot be found by adding to the area of 
grazing lands, efforts should be concentrated on measures likely to in- 
crease the usefulness of the land already growing grass. 1 Although the 
difficulties in this direction which confront the seeker after improvement 
are formidable, the scope for an increase in the production of cattle food 
is undoubtedly very great. (The principal methods of improving the 
output. of cattle food from grass land mentioned by witnesses were 
restriction of the right of grazing on waste land, enclosure and controlled 
grazing, and fodder storage. J ' 

182. It is frequently asserted that the difficulties of cultivators are 

intensified by the extent to which landless villagers 
N N " and residents in towns keep cattle but do not feed 

n i i t 

them. Such cattle not only compete with those 
of cultivators on the common grazing lands but, at times of 
the year when these afford no food, raid crops and cause much damage. 
In some localities, this evil is found to such an extent that legislation 
was suggested with the object of restricting the numbers of cattle kept. 
Where common rights exist in the village grazing grounds, it would 
probably be impracticable to restrict the keeping of cattle to occupiers 
of tillage land ; but, with the consent of a majority, it should be 
possible to regulate the grazing on the common land, if enabling 
Acts were in force giving, to a majority of those who have rights 
in such lands, power to make regulations laying down the number 
and description of animals which could be turned out to graze by 
individual villagers. In cases in which grazing rights are of an indefinite 
kind, and especially where the area of grazing land attached to a village is 
considerable, it should further be possible to divide up the grazing land 
so that a co-operative society of villagers wishing to improve their cattle 
might secure entire control of a part of the grazing lands, leaving the 
balance available for common use. 

183. Conditions in India vary so widely that no one policy or method 

of meeting the difficulties created by the keeping of 
Giuznra ATI N F cattle bv non-cultivators, or by the overstocking of 

grazing lands for other reasons, would be applicable 
throughout the country. We propose, therefore, to examine three typical 
sets of conditions which are likely to be met with frequently, and to 
suggest the lines along wjbich the obstacles to cattle improvement presented 
by each set might be attacked. In the first, the village common lands re- 
present little more than exercising grounds for cattle, and little, if anything, 
can be done to improve the grazing they provide, for every grass plant is 
gnawed bare as soon as it begins to make fresh leaves and is given no 


chance of producing the herbage which, under more favourable condi- 
tions, it would supply. In such circumstances, the extra fodder which 
cattle need must be grown on the cultivated land, or must be imported 
from outside. In the second type of village, a type which is very fre- 
quently met with throughout the plains of India, the grazing area is more 
extensive, and the cattle are able to pick and choose their food during the 
monsoon, with the result that much grass develops into coarse dry fodder 
of very little feeding value. Here a great improvement could be effected 
by grazing the area in rotation, and in order to secure that this is done, 
authority must be conferred on some group of villagers, a panchayat, or 
a co-operative society, for example, which would enable them to regulate 
grazing. The third set of conditions which we have in mind is that which 
is found in hilly districts such as are common in Assam and Burma. The 
conditions we have described immediately above occur here in a more 
pronounced form. Grass is so abundant in the rainy season and grows so 
strongly that the dry season finds extensive tracts covered with fodder 
which is not only uneaten, but uneatable. Such districts differ from those 
in the plains in that the extension of free grazing areas would be 
possible ; but extension would be of little or no use in improving cattle. 
We recommend that an attempt should be made to demarcate those 
areas likely to be most suitable for grazing, and to assign them to groups 
of occupiers of tillage land at nominal rates, on condition that they graze 
the land in rotation, exclude cattle not owned by the group, and cut grass 
from part of the area for use in the hot season. What should, in fact, 
be aimed at is the creation throughout the dry season of " oases " 
of grazing grounds of real value in the existing deserts of dry, coarse 
and valueless herbage. 

The subject of regulating grazing lands has hitherto received 
but little close study from the Agricultural Department ; but, 
since the report of the Bombay Cattle Committee of 1923, 
attention has been paid to it in certain talukas of ihat presidency. 
It is mainly from forest officers that we have heard of the 
importance of regulating grazing grounds. The Chief Conservator 
in the United Provinces, for example, emphasised the fact that the produce 
of unreserved waste lands could be greatly increased by protectiop, and 
he suggested that, if such areas were divided into blocks and grazed in 
rotation, the existing difficulties would befrnuch reduced. Other forest 
officers pointed out that even extensive forest tracts were, in some cases, 
over-grazed, and the Chief Conservator of Bengal explained how this 
might occur through neglect of rotational grazing in forests where the 
total amount of fodder is sufficient. In referring to the deterioration of 
forests through excessive grazing, he observed " what appears to be 
light grazing in terms of the head of cattle per acre is, in practice, 
concentrated near the village, in stream beds and grassy blocks ; the last 
two being just where it does most harm. " We are well aware of the 
difficulties likely to be met with in practice in getting owners of cattle 
to adopt more rational methods in utilising the diminishing grazing areas 
of India, but the poverty of so large a proportion of the breeding herds of 
the country is such a serious handicap t<{ the improvement of agriculture, 


and the management of the available grazing lands is so bad, that 
a great effort to alter existing conditions is necessary, and is indeed 
long overdue. 

In this connection, attention may again be called to professional 
graziers. Two kinds are to be found in India. One is represented by the 
villager to whose care cultivators in many districts hand over their cattle 
at the end of the busy season. This type is to be found in those districts 
in which the poorest animals are kept. The men belonging to it are 
cattle herdsmen rather than graziers and need no encouragement. The 
other type is found in the tribes of nomadic graziers, themselves in 
the past owners of herds of cattle ar. I breeders of the best that India 
could show. As cattle breeders, they have disappeared from many 
districts in the course of the past half century ; in others they still exist, 
but are losing ground. These men possess a knowledge of cattle that 
would make them useful allies in any fresh attempts to make better 
use of the natural grazings of the country ; and, where they are still to 
be found, efforts are required to enlist their hereditary skill. Special 
consideration, which might take the form of allotting them new grazing 
areas from disafforested reserves, or from waste land not classed as 
free grazing areas, should be shown to them in all schemes for cattle 

One further point may be referred to in connection with the better 
utilisation of existing grazing lands. In some parts of India, there may be 
considerable tracts of grass land which are not being fully utilised for a 
reason which might be remedied. The Bombay Cattle Committee drew 
instance of this kind. They pointed out that, in the 

Satpura tract, tbjre exist* much* good grass which is of little value to 
stock because, during the dry season, there is no drinking water, and 
suggested that an irrigation engineer should examine the tract in order to 
ascertain whether a remedy was possible. The difficulties in providing 
a sufficient water supply may prove insuperable ; but the quantity of 
water required by grazing stock is not considerable as compared with the 
amount that an irrigation officer is normally expected to provide, and the 
water supply of natural grazing lands is a subject well worth investiga- 
tion. (It is not unlikely that much of the unequal grazing of which 
forest officers complain may be associated with a difficulty in finding 
water for cattle near at hand.) 

' m 

184. We turn now to the subject of fodder storage, pndian hay i& 

seldom " hay " in the sense in which that term ia 
DRY FODDER STORAGE. undergtood in weste rn countries ; it consists of dry 

grass, on which seed has ripened and usually has been shed. It 
corresponds in feeding quality to the straw of cereals rather than to hay 
made before seed has ripened. The reason for this inferior condition is 
that, during the latter part of the monsoon season, when grass is ready 
to be cut for hay, the weather is often so wet that hay -making cannot be 
attempted ; and, at the end of the monsoon, when there is still a chance 
of making fair hay from grass not greatly over-ripe, cultivators are very 
busy with their cultivated crops.) Thus the would-be hay- maker of India 


has greater difficulties to face than have farmers in even the wettest parts 
of Britain. It is only in districts of exceptionally light rainfall that the 
weather is not a serious obstacle to hay-making in India, and unfortun- 
ately in such districts there is little natural hay to be made. 

These difficulties, and the quality of the material that passes for hay, 
largely explain the attitude of the Indian cultivator to hay -making. It 
is an attitude that may have been reasonable enough in the distant 
past, when his theory of agriculture took shape ; but it is an attitude 
which is no longer reasonable, for even dried grass, though seldom better, 
and usually worse than the bhusa and kadbi on which he relies, is of much 
value to hungry cattle, and, if supplemented by concentrated foods, would 
bring them through the dry season in good condition. Nor is it always 
impossible for the cultivator to make real hay. If he used his oppor- 
tunities as diligently as, for example, the Welsh farmer does, his cattle 
would quickly improve. In all districts where grass land is abundant, 
cultivators should be expected to provide themselves, if not with hay, at 
least with dried grass ; and even where grass land, without being abun- 
dant, exists in excess of the needs of cattle during the period from July to 
November, a portion of the land now used as grazing would be used to 
better purpose if it were reserved for grass cutting. 

The evidence we have heard suggests that the cultivator rarely makes 
the most of his opportunities for grass cutting, and that it is very seldom 
indeed,that he secures the full value of the grass which he cuts, by harvest- 
ing it when its feeding value is good. It is not that he is unaware of the 
poor quality of over-ripe grass. This he knows well, and his objection 
to baled hay made in the forests is that its quality is so poor as to 
render it useful only in famine conditions. The most formidable 
obstacle to be overcome before the cattle owner can be induced to 
provide hay for his stock is, indeed, to be found neither in lack of 
sunshine, nor in surplus of shower, but in custom. A grass cutter he 
has been, but a hay-maker never ; and he finds it hard to begin. 

185. It is a fortunate circumstance, however, that sunshine is not 
essential to the process of storing good fodder, and 
w j t hj n fae past few years, since livestock experts 
have been appointed and the improvement of 
Battle has received their thought, much attention has been given to the 
subject of ensilage. A great many trials of different types of silo have 
been made, and the suitability of many different crops for filling them has 
been tested. The making of silage is, indeed, no new process in iDdia. 
It lias been regularly practised at Hissar ever since, in 1899, this farm was 
taken over from the Commissariat Department. At Pusa also, silage has 
always been an important fodder ; but it is within the last ten years that 
interest in the subject has become widespread. The results of this 
widened interest in one respect have been more than encouraging, for 
very definite success has 4 been achieved. On many government farms 
all over the country, silage is now regularly made and has proved of great 
value in feeding cattle during the dry season. In another respect, 
however, the results so far met with have been disappointing, inasmuch 


as cultivators, though not the cattle, show a great disinclination to take 
to silage. Around Pusa, for example, where silage has been made 
for more than a dozen years, where the stock are largely fed on it, and 
where cultivators have had many opportunities, at the annual sales of 
cattle, of seeing the excellence of animals fed on silage,{they themselves 
will not touch it.) Elsewhere, agriculturists have been less conservative, 
and a few large landowners have begun to use silage. Some of the 
zamindars who gave evidence before us testified from personal experience 
to its value ; and the ensiling of crops seems now to be commonly resorted 
to by the small number of progressive dairy farmers who have begun to 
keep herds in rural surroundings for the supply of milk to large towns. 

(The experiments made in all parts of the country show that, except 
where the soil is waterlogged, the cheapest form of silo, viz., the earthen 
pit, is also the type best suited for cultivators. When properly construct- 
ed, filled and weighted, it keeps silage as well as, if not better than, the 
tower silo built of brick or concrete, and though there are objections to 
pits when silage in large quantities is made, these objections are of little 
account when silage on the scale needed by cultivators is the object. If 
the cultivator wishes to store his fodder, therefore, there is no initial 
outlay ; he has merely to dig a pit of suitable dimensions. Experiments 
made in Bombay show that, for each foot of its length, a pit dug eight 
feet wide at the surface, seven feet wide at the bottom, and eight feet 
deep would hold about one ton of green fodder and produce about five- 
sixths of a ton of good silage. Thus, a pit with the above cross section 
and ten feet long would hold all the silage that a cultivator, owning three 
or four cattle, would be likely to need for thepurpose of bringing his stock 
through the hot season in good condition^ 

The choice of plants suitable for ensiling is a wide one, and investiga- 
tors in India have already recorded the results of their experiments 
with a large number of products. Among cultivated crops, maize, juar 
<ind oats are specially suitable. There is some advantage ^i cutting 
auch fodders into short lengths before ensiling them, find in demonstra- 
tions of the process in the Central Provinces, a motor lorry with a 
silage cutter driven by a 3-H. P. engine has been successfully 
employed. Several coarse grasses, such as Sorghum halepense, Panicum 
untidotale and Andropogon contortus have also been found to make 
satisfactory silage. The last of these is the common spear-grass which, 
when dry, is a very poor cattle food, but has been found to be much 
improved in palatability and feeding value by ensiling. At this stage of 
development, the prudent course when recommending the use of ensilage 
is to assume that only recognised fodders, readily eaten by cattle when 
fresh, or those inferior grasses which experiments have proved suitable, 
can profitably be ensiled. (Leaves of trees and strong growing weeds of 
various kinds can be converted into useful silage^ and many suitable 
plants are likely to be found, but, with so large a selection of plants 
which can undoubtedly be used with good results, the immediate policy 
should be to concentrate on efforts to get the cultivator to make silage 
of these, for his cows and young stock. 


There is sufficient experience available in India to show that it is here 
that the agricultural departments will encounter a real difficulty. ^Silage is 
essentially a fodder for milking, or for idle, stock. jLike succulent fodders 
in general, it is less well adapted for bullocks while at hard work. The 
cultivator is quite prepared to make an effort to feed his working cattle ; 
but, as we have seen, he expects his cows especially when they are yield- 
ing no surplus milk for household use and also his young stock to look 
after themselves. /The preparation of silage, therefore, makes little appeal 
to him ; it is this indifference that those trying to introduce the new 
process must combat.^ 

We are of opinion that propaganda on the lines of that carried 
on in the " village uplift" campaign in the Gurgaon district in the 
Punjab, a description of which will be found in Chapter XIV, is 
called for with the object of inducing cultivators to adopt the making of 
silage, and that, in conducting this campaign, an appeal should be made 
to the " ftow-pypfofttion " instincts which are so strong among the 
Hindu population, with the object of securing voluntary local assistance. 
But, in conducting a campaign of this character, it is very necessary to 
observe caution and to ensure that district officers and voluntary 
assistants who may be prepared to help, should, before they engage in 
propaganda, have some practical experience in silage making. The process 
is so simple consisting as it does merely in the making of a pit of a given 
size, the cutting of green succulent fodders, the filling and tight tramp- 
ling of the material and the weighting with earth or stones that persons 
anxious to popularise the making of silage may easily suppose that 
reading and following instructions are sufficient to ensure success. But 
as is the case with very many simple agricultural processes, attention 
is required to small points of detail in dealing with which printed in- 
structions are an inadequate guide, such as the necessity in sunny weather 
of pitting as soon as possible after cutting, and, until a silage maker has 
had at least one season's successful experience, he should not 
demonstrate to the cultivator ; for a very slight error which resulted 
in spoiled fodder would mean the end, for the time being, of all 
propaganda work in the locality. 

Small rations of silage fed to the hungry cows and young stock of the 
country during the season of fodder scarcity would, we think, do more 
than anything else to bring about a rapid change in the quality of Indian 
cattle. There is no real difficulty in providing the pit silo required for 
storage in most parts, but the re would be difficulty in securing suitable 
green material for filling the pit in many parts of the country. This 
difficulty would seldom be insuperable, however, if cultivators realised 
how greatly this stored fodder would add to the value of their cattle. 
A campaign for the extension of the use of silage should, moreover, 
appeal to many among the educated of all communities, and not to 
Hindus alone ; for no lover of animals can fail to deplore the sufferings 
which millions of cows and young cattle have to face every season in 
their struggle for existence on the burnt up grazing grounds of 


186. ^While more attention to the management of grazing 

grounds, to the making of hay, to the collection 

POSSIBILITY OF EVf- p i i i. j_i *i* _c j *i_ 

PROVING THE QUALITY of dry grass, and to the ensiling of the many 
AND UTILISATION OF kinds of suitable material that is, or might be, 
FODDERS. grown in this country would all contribute to the 

solution of the stockowner's difficulties, they do not exhaust 
the directions in which the fodder supply might be improved. 
Practice in regard to the storage of dry fodders, especially the straw of 
cereals, varies widely J Where cultivators are careful of their cattle, as 
in the cotton tracts, storage is systematically practised, and the surplus 
of a good year is often carried forward to ease the troubles of a bad. In 
other districts, no thought is given to the future. Something, too, might 
be done to effect economy in the use of millet stalks (kadbi), which are the 
cultivator's stand-by in so many districts. This fodder, especially juar 
kadbi, is often coarse, and, when it is fed whole to cattle, much of it 
that would be of the utmost value later in the year is likely to be wasted 
in the early part of the season. The use of the_cliajffcijtter has spread 
rapidly in some parts of the country, and, wherever kadbi is the main 
fodder, attempts should be made to get its use extended. 

It is likely that some coarse fodders might be put to better use if they 
wer<i harvested at a more suitable time. It is well known that the value 
of the straw of cereal crops is increased if they are harvested at the 
earliest time that the state of the grain renders possible. (Wlien the grain 
becomes ' dead ripe/ the quality of the straw is always inferior.) The 
correct period at which to harvest, in order to get the maximum value 
from grain and straw, varies with different cereals. We are not satisfied 
that this subject has received enough attention from the agricultural 
departments, and we would suggest that, in districts in which cattle waste a 
considerable part of the coarse fodders to which they have access, the 
possibility of securing a (better and more palatable straw by earlier 
harvesting should be considerecDand that experiments should be made 
to determine the earliest sta^e at which the crop can be safely cut. 
Where the straw of wheat, barley or rice, when supplied liberally, is 
rejected by stock, measures for increasing its palatability should be 
investigated. Methods which suggest themselves are moistening the 
straw in water in which a trace of gur has been dissolved, or sprinkling 
it with salt, or with any cheap meal or condiment likely to tempt the 
appetites of cattle! 

187. (Even when all possible use has been made of existing sources 
GREEN FODDER of supply, a shortage of fodder is likely to arise in 

CROPS. many parts of the country. In these circumstances, 

the only remedy is the cultivation of fodder crops on the cultivator's 
holding. For this there would appear not only to be much need, but 
much room, since the total area under fodder crops is somewhat less than 
nine million acres, or 3 * 5 per cent of the total area sown, as compared 
with 16 *6 per cent in Egypt. Moreover, India provides a wide choice of 
crops suitable for this purpose, from the indigenous fodder juar and senji 
to the introduced maize, lucerne, berseem and Guinea grass. New and 
promising fodders like fodder bajra (Penni return pur pur eum) and Japanese 
MO y 28GH 


millet (Panicum cruxgalli) are frequently discovered as the world is 
being explored. In no direction is the introduction of exotic crops likely 
to prove more valuable in adding to the resources of India than in the 
case of those intended for cutting green as foddev) We observe with 
satisfaction that in the North- West Frontier Provincti, in the Central Pro- 
vinces and also at Pusa, the agricultural departments have succeeded in 
ripening the seed of berseem i jj&el>y ; for, if the seed of this crop can 
be cheaply grown in quantity, there is at least some ground for the 
hope that, in tracts such as the Punjab and Sind, it may add greatly to 
the fertility and wealth of the country. Its value as a fodder in Indian 
conditions is shown by Pusa experience where, in the cold weather 
of 1925-26, 103 acres sown with berseem, and irrigated, supplied pasturage 
for 350 cattle from November to May and in addition provided 410 tons 
of green fodder for cutting. (The high value of this crop both directly 
in stock feeding, and indirectly in increasing the yield of other crops, 
is shown by the experience of Egypt, where it is very extensively used 
both as fodder and green manure. The cultivation there is of the 
simplest kind ; it is sown between the cotton rows before the final 
picking of that crop, or on the bare land immediately after the cotton 
stalks have been pulled ; it grows luxuriantly, keeps down weeds, and 
leaves the land in good condition for succeeding crops.) 

The difficulty which we foresee is not the discovery of suitable crops 
for growing as green fodder, or for making into silage ; it is in persuad- 
ing the cultivator to grow them. (His first line of reasoning is that, 
if he pays land revenue and water rates and grows a crop, it must be 
a money crop or a food for himself, not a fodder crop or one that may 
be ploughed in as green manure.) He cannot be expected to know, nor, 
if he were told, could he envisage, the effect which the introduction of 
red clover into the rotations of western countries had on both the live- 
stock and corn-growing industries ; (or the effect of berseem in Egypt 
on the rich crops of maize and cotton which follow) But these indirect 
effects of leguminous fodder crops on the fertility of land, and the lasting 
value of their introduction in association with large irrigation schemes 
must be recognised, and should receive the fostering care of governments 
concerned with the development and permanent welfare of their countries' 
resources. The Indian agricultural departments are well a war,- of 
the value of fodder crops but an extension of the area under them has 
been hard to secure. In Madras, the Punjab, the North- West Frontier 
Province and Sind, efforts have been made to encourage the cultivation 
of such crops by the remission of the charge for water from government 
sources of irrigation or by the grant of concession rates for the use of 
such water. As in the similar case of crops grown for green manure, 
the results have so far proved disappointing. We recommend, however, 
as we have done for green manure crops, that the concession should be 
continued and extended to other areas provided that this is accompanied 
by an active campaign of propaganda and that all areas in which it is 
granted are kept under regular examination. Where the concession is at 
present granted, it applies to all fodder crops. Where it is being 
extended to new areas, we think that the concession might advantageously 


be limited to the growing of specific fodder crops of proved value,, 
such as berseem. The further recommendation we have made in regard 
to green manure crops would apply both to existing and to new 
concessions. If, after a period of five to ten years, it should appear that 
the concession has failed to achieve its main purpose, it should be 

The cultivator's second reason for limiting the area sown with fodder 
crops is the great trouble involved in protecting them from 
raiding animals. The risk his crop would run if he were the sole grower 
of fodder in a village is, indeed, so great that an enterprising cultivator, 
otherwise anxious to grow a new fodder crop, would almost certainly 
refuse to make the attempt. In introducing fodder crops to a new district, 
it becomes necessary, therefore, to persuade several cultivators to make 
the attempt simultaneously ,so that they may share both the risk and the 
work of protecting the growing crop. We have here another reason for 
advocating the fencing of land, a subject we have discussed in Chapter IV. 

188. We turn next to examine the efforts which are being made to 
improve Indian cattle by careful breeding. This is 

IMPROVEMENT OF a task which in one sense is straightforward and 
ABEL ea sy as compared with the difficulties encountered 
in attempts to improve the management of cattle 
by feeding them properly ; but after the initial stage has been 
accomplished and superior animals have been raised, the difficulties 
are the same, The supply of fodder must in general determine 
whether the cattle improved by the efforts of the breeder can, 
or cannot, be maintained in India ; since larger or more productive 
animals would depend for their welfare on proper feeding to an 
even greater extent than those now in existence. The best Indian cattle 
already have remarkable powers of jjpjdufftnqg and ojfjrecuperation after 
long periods_gjf Jiardship. The most skilful breeder couTa scarcelyim- 
prove on the~best of them in this direction. The improvements which 
are possible are in the direction _of 

_ ^^ 

in both sexes, and in that of prQilijii3amess r Jboth^ of milk, 

in tlie_case of th^cow. And, with the exception in certain cases of the 
grading up of the average animal, these qualities are conditioned by food 
supply. The exception to the general statement just made is important and 
must be explained. As compared with the cattle of other countries, the best 
Indian cattle excel as " foragers, " that is, in their capacity to maintain 
themselves in good condition on the scanty grazings to which they have 
access. Their quality in this respect, however, varies widely. It follows 
that the efforts of a breeder who made foraging qualities his goal might 
result in improvements of a kind that would make no additional demands 
on food supply or on the ordinary stockowner's powers of cattle manage- 
ment. This exception is one which the breeder should never lose sight of ; 
it offers the one possibility of improvement which is not dependent either 
on an increase in food supply or a decrease in the number of cattle to be 
fed. In general, however, the rule that increase in production must be 
preceded by an increase in the food supply holds good. In cattle of 
MO y 2861 4a 


both sexes, the larger the animal the greater must be the ration, 
and, in the female, regular breeding is impossible without proper feeding ; 
while, though, for a time, a good cow would produce milk at the expense 
of her own tissues, the yield could not be maintained unless the food 
supplied was in proportion to the milk produced. 

The task of the agricultural departments in improving cattle has been 
easy in the sense that, as has already been pointed out, the country 
contains a number of fine breeds which, in spite of all fodder difficulties, 
have, in most provinces, provided foundation stocks of comparative 
excellence with which to begin the work of improvement. The first 
task of livestock experts has been to recognise and classify breeds of 
merit, and this has now been done generally ; the next has been to 
establish farms for the breeding of bulls of those breeds which display 
outstanding merit, with a view to the isolation of the best types, where 
the breed lias become mixed or indefinite in its characteristics. This 
work is now in progress and will take time ; for, as the result of neglect 
in past management, a number of the breeds are much less uniform than 
is desirable. Lack of what a stock breeder describes as " type " is 
indeed very noticeable in existing herds ; and it was the possession of 
this quality by young stock at Hissar that marked out the Punjab herd 
among those seen by us in our tour. What lias already been accomplished 
at the long established Hissar farm will, in time, be accomplished at 
the other cattle breeding farms, and there can be no doubt that they 
will be able to .supply bulls for distribution which will show a great 
improvement over the foundation stocks with which the farms started. 

We were able to visit a small number only of these cattle breeding 
farms, and the impression we formed was that they are now well managed 
bub that, at an earlier stage, some of those in charge of breeding herds 
were too much given to making experiments (in crossing and did not 
possess the patience that the building up of a good herd by selection 
calls forj It cannot be too strongly emphasised that the variety which 
may be in place on an educational farm for the purpose of demonstrating 
differing qualities in cattle is out of place on a farm the object of which 
is the breeding of bulls. This is now recognised by agricultural depart- 
ments and " type " is receiving the attention required, (it is endangered 
by one circumstance only, the quest almost everywhere for dual purpose 
cattle, that is, for breeds of which the bullock would be suitable for 
draught, and the cow for milking and ghi production^ The desire for 
such breeds is laudable, for good dual purpose cattle would, no doubt, 
meet a strong demand ; but the would-be improver of cattle is confronted 
by most complex problems, and, in such circumstances, there is much to 
be. said, and that not only in Indian conditions, for the policy of one 
thing at a time. 

189. Whilst, in all provinces, cattle breeding is now receiving 
XT, v .rr T attention and cattle farms have been provided, it 

INUJVIMKK U1' uUJUIjo 'ill f 1 f 11 * 

DISTRIBUTED FROM will he seen irom the following statement of the 
CATTLE BREEDING number of breeding bulls supplied in the three 
* ABMS - years ending with 1925-26 that, except in the 

Punjab, little progress has as yet been made an,4 that even in that 

province, although a fairly substantial number is now being sent out 
annually, the total contribution to the 10,000 young bulls which that 
province needs each year is relatively small : 

Number oj bulls issued Jrom government farms in the major 
provinces jor the three years ending 1925-26 











Bihar and Orissa 











Central Pro v in cos 










United Provinces 







If we take note of the fact that India, which, according to the statistical 
returns, has some five million bulls (and would, if its cattle were properly 
managed, need one million, with an annual supply of some 200,000) it 
will be apparent how small is the direct influence which government 
cattle breeding farms can exercise on the cattle of the country. This 
is recognised by the livestock experts responsible for the work, and it 
is to the indirect rather than the direct effects that they point in justifica- 
tion of their efforts and of the expenditure which cattle breeding 
farms involve. It may further be observed that, in all provinces, those 
in charge of cattle improvement insist on the fact that, in Indian condi- 
tions, the breeding of bulls cannot be directly remunerative at this stage, 
and that, if Government does not intervene to provide pedigree cattle, 
no private breeder will. We agree with this view. The conditions in 
this country are totally different from those in Britain, where the 
initiative in livestock improvement was taken by landowners and 
farmers, and where Government did not intervene until after a century 
and a half of private effort - highly valuable herds were in possession of 
a large number of private owners. When the British Government began 
to share in the work of livestock improvement some fifteen years ago, 
it was not necessary for them to breed bulls ; suitable animals 
were already there ; what was needed in Britain was to make these 
valuable cattle available to small farmers, who were, in many districts, 
unable to afford to use them. With this object the " premium bull " 
system was introduced. In India, as we have seen, really good cattle, 
once the property of professional breeders, are disappearing from many 
parts of the country and, when agricultural departments began, as one 
or two did thirty years ago, or more, to introduce into India the 
" premium bull " system, they found it impossible to purchase useful 
animals. Thus, in India, the expensive but essential work of building up 
herds of pedigree cattle, which in Britain was accomplished by private 
enterprise, must fall on the tax-payer. 

Since, in a number of provinces, little progress has yet been made in 
breeding pedigree cattle, we propose to confine our review of this branch 


of activity fco the work done in the Punjab, the United Provinces, 
Bombay, the Central Provinces and Madras, where most experience 
has been gained. We do so partly with a view to illustrating the 
methods employed in improving cattle, and partly because in these 
provinces certain points arise on which we desire to comment. 
190. The Punjab Government's cattle breeding farm of Hissar has an 
area of 42,000 acres and is much the largest stock 
brce(lin S farm in Briti *h India. It is also the 
oldest, having been established in 1809 as a centre 
for camel breeding. In 1815, cattle and horse breeding were added. 
Although horse breeding was carried on for about thirty-five years, 
cattle breeding soon became the more important object and, from 1850 
onwards, nearly all the work centred round the raising of artillery and 
ordnance bullocks. Until the end of the last century, the farm was at 
different times in charge of the Commissariat and Stud departments ; but, 
in 1899, it was transferred to the care of the Civil Veterinary Department. 
On the abolition, in 1912, of the post of Inspector-General, Civil Veterinary 
Department, the farm, was handed over by the Government of India to 
the Punjab Government, but no change was made in its management. 
The size and importance of the farm has justified the employment of 
skilful stock breeders to superintend il. For nearly thirty years, cattle 
breeding at Ilissar lias been in charge of two officers of the Civil 
Veterinary Department, Colonel Farmer, who reorganised the farm 
after it was handed over by the Commissariat Department, and Mr. 
Branford, the present Superintendent. Hissnr lias thus had the advan- 
tage of continuity of policy in recent years. This policy has aimed at 
the formation of a herd exhibiting in the greatest possible perfection the 
qualities which have made the llariana or Hansi-Hissar cattle of the 
south-east Punjab noted as a draught breed. There had, unfortunately, 
been a good deal of crossing of this with other Indian breeds before the 
farm came under the management of the Civil Veterinary Department 
and the stock was not pure, but undesirable traits have been gradually 
eliminated, until the Hissar cattle now represent a special strain 
of the Hariana breed. 

In addition to a small number of horses, donkeys, mules and sheep, 
Hissar maintains from 5,500 to 6,000 cattle. The herd contains about 
1,500 cows, and some 300 to 400 young bulls of about three years old 
are auctioned annually. They are purchased chiefly on behalf of district 
boards, who supply them to villagers. It is now recognised that 
concentration of good cattle in particular areas gives the best results and 
efforts are directed to securing proper treatment for the cows and the 
castration of undesirable males in the villages in which the bulls are 
jplaced. Largely through the personal efforts of the Deputy Commis- 
sioner, the district of Gurgaon is at present securing a considerable 
proportion of the young bulls and a noteworthy improvement of the 
local cattle is taking place. 

In the three years ending March, 1927, the receipts from the Hissar 
farm averaged Es. 2 '67 lakhs; excluding any sum by way of rent 
for the land, the average annual profit was about Es. 76,000. 


(The Hariana breed of cattle, for which the south-east Punjab and tlie 
aajacent districts of the United Provinces have long been noted, is 
essentially a breed of fine draught cattle ; a number of the cows are also 
good milkers, yields of 3,000 to 4,000 Ibs. per lactation appear to be not 
uncommon and the breed is recognised as having dual purpose value. 
Until recently, the single purpose atHissar was to breed cattle of a good 
draught type and this is the policy that still applies to the general herd. 
In the view of some livestock experts, this single purpose aim was a mistake, 
and at Hissar, and other cattle farms, attention is now being given to the 
improvement of the milking properties of the breed with the object 
of producing bulls for districts suitable for milk production. At Hissar, 
the draught and the dual purpose herds have been separated, as they 
require different treatment. \ To us it appears that advocates of dual 
purpose breeding have sometimes failed to give sufficient consideration 
to the need for different treatment, and that caution is required lest, in 
seeking to improve the milk yield, other qualities which give special 
value to the breed may be sacrificed. A reference to Hissar experience 
will serve to illustrate this point. The grazings on this farm are fairly are 
presentative of those to which Hariana cattle are accustomed. The 
quality of the grass is, for India, very good ; but the grazing is 
sparse. The Superintendent of the Hissar farm informed us that 
breeding cows might have to travel ten to fifteen miles daily to 
secure the rations they required. The cows maintain themselves 
on these grazings in excellent condition and bring up strong calves. 
In ordinary years, they get no food beyond what they pick up for them- 
selves. In years of fodder scarcity, a little hay is supplied to them. To 
maintain her body weight, an average Hissar cow weighing 1,100 Ibs. must 
collect some 40 Ibs. of grass daily in the dry season and each seer of milk 
which she gives would add nine per cent to her grass requirements ; 
moreover, the additional effort required to collect this grass adds to her 
need for food.\ Grazing ground, which is capable of supporting good 
draught cattle might thus starve thc__ cows, if their output/of milk 
were raised. At Hissar, the cows in the dual purpose herd are not 
expected to find all their food on the grazing grounds ; they also receive 
rations of concentrated feeding stuffs carefully adjusted to body weight 
and milk yield. But the cultivator rarely feeds a balanced ration 
to his cow. Thus, were bulls of high milking strains produced 
at Hissar and used in districts where the grazing lands were of similar 
character and in which cultivators were not accustomed to 
hand feed their cattle, there would be no small risk that the 
stock produced would deteriorate on the grazings and cease to give 
satisfaction. Until fodder crops and concentrated feeding stuffs are 
much more commonly used by Indian cattle owners than is now the case, 
care must be taken not to distribute strains of cattle having markedly 
different milking properties from those already occupying grazing tracts. 
For districts in which cultivators are already accustomed to feed cows 
in proportion to their yield of milk, heavy milking strains of the Hariana 
breed would be particularly suited. A dual purpose animal obtained, by 
selection, from a breed in which strains combining gocd milking with 

good draught qualities have long existed, may be regarded as being 
relatively pure bred in respect of both qualities. Bulls so bred would be 
much more likely to give satisfaction than animals which had resulted 
from the blending of strains by crossing in recent times. 

To supplement the supply of bulls of Hissar strain, leases of tracts of 
land in the Punjab have been granted on favourable terms in three cases. 
These farms maintain about 900 cows, so that the addition to the Hissar 
supply of bulls should be substantial. We were informed, however, 
that the results were not satisfactory, as there was a tendency on the part 
of the grantees to regard cattle breeding as a side line, and we do not 
recommend this particular method of encouraging cattle breeding. 
Reference to the other breeding schemes of the Punjab Government in 
connection with the improvement of Montgomery (Sahiwal) and 
Dhaimi cattle is made in the introduction to the volume of evidence 
for the province. 

191. In the United Provinces, there are, at present, t\\o cattle breed- 
ing farms. The larger of these, that at Madurikund 
iN AT T T HE BB UNKD neur Muttra > extends to about 1,400 acres, and 
PROVINCES. breeds Hissar cattle and Murrah buffaloes ; the area 

of the other, which is at Manjhra, in the Kheri 
district, is at present 550 acres, but an extension of 2,000 acres is con- 
templated. The stock consists partly of milking breeds Sahiwal cattle 
and Murrah buffaloes and partly of Kherigarh cattle, a small draught 
breed much in favour in the cast and north-east of the province. When 
bulls were first distributed in this province, they were supplied to 
district boards and co-operative societies, but neither agency gave satis- 
faction, as under a system of general distribution it was not possible to 
secure proper treatment for the bulls. It was, therefore, decided to 
concentrate the work in selected areas, of which there are at present 
two. The cows kept in these areas and their progeny, as well as the 
bulls placed out, are regularly inspected, and an attempt is